Frailty in an older inpatient population: using the clinical frailty scale to predict patient outcomes

J Aging Health. 2015 Jun;27(4):670-85. doi: 10.1177/0898264314558202. Epub 2014 Nov 19.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of frailty, measured using the Canadian Study of Health and Aging Clinical Frailty Scale, on outcomes of older people hospitalized with acute illness.

Method: Consecutive patients were randomly allocated to a model development sample or a model validation sample. Multivariate analyses were used to model in-hospital mortality, new nursing home placement, and length of stay. Variables selected in the development samples were tested in the validation samples.

Results: The mean age of all 2,125 patients was 82.9 years. Most (93.6%) were admitted through the emergency department. Frailty predicted in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] = 2.97 [2.11, 4.17]), new nursing home placement (OR = 1.60 [1.14, 2.24]), and length of hospital stay (hazard ratio = 0.87 [0.81, 0.93]).

Discussion: Frailty is a strong predictor of adverse outcomes in older people hospitalized with acute illness. An increased awareness of its impact may alert clinicians to screen for frailty.

Keywords: death; elderly inpatients; frailty; length of stay; outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / mortality
  • Acute Disease / therapy*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Treatment Outcome