There is general agreement that frailty is a state of heightened vulnerability to stressors arising from impairments in multiple systems leading to declines in homeostatic reserve and resiliency, but unresolved issues persist about its detection, underlying pathophysiology, and relationship with aging, disability, and multimorbidity. A particularly challenging area is the relationship between frailty and hospitalization. Based on the deliberations of a 2014 Canadian expert consultation meeting and a scoping review of the relevant literature between 2005 and 2015, this discussion paper presents a review of the current state of knowledge on frailty in the acute care setting, including its prevalence and ability to both predict the occurrence and outcomes of hospitalization. The examination of the available evidence highlighted a number of specific clinical and research topics requiring additional study. We conclude with a series of consensus recommendations regarding future research priorities in this important area.
Keywords: acute care; assessment; frailty; hospitalization; outcomes.