MT Oo, A Tencheva, N Khalid, YP Chan, SF Ho
Journal Issue: 
Volume 43: Issue 4: 2013



Background: Managing acute admission of frail older patients is a challenge in hospitals. Length of inpatient stay, inpatient mortality and the 90-day readmission rate are significant in this group of patients. The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), a multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment process, is the best approach for identifying medical conditions, mental health, functional capacity and social circumstances in acute geriatric care.

Methods: A review of the records of older patients aged 75 and over, acutely admitted to a district general hospital in England from 15 March 2012 to 16 April 2012 was conducted. We developed a frailty assessment tool and applied it to these patients, in order to determine who would be classified as frail. We then established if the patients meeting this criteria were then correctly assessed using the CGA. All patient data were processed and analysed using a statistical package for data analysis.

Results: A total of 232 patients with a mean age of 84.25 ± 5.8 years were included. Out of these, 129 patients (55.6%) fulfilled the frailty criteria as determined with our frailty-assessment tool; 80.6% presented with lack of mobility over 24 hours, 69.8% were admitted with falls, 47.3% had known dementia or delirium and 45% were admitted from care homes. Patients aged over 85 years were more likely to have frailty compared with patients aged 75–85 years old (odds ratio [OR]: 4.78, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.6–8.6, p value <0.001). Patients assessed by a front door geriatric team were more likely to be reviewed with the CGA than those not seen by this team (adjusted OR 2.8, 95% CI: 1–7.6, p value=0.04).

Conclusion: The prevalence of frailty is high in acute admissions of older patients and it is important that they are properly identified and assessed with a CGA in order to ensure effective multidisciplinary care.