Evaluation of Frailty Assessment Compliance in Acute Care Surgery: Changing Trends, Lessons Learned

Meera Kapadia, Omar Obaid, Adam Nelson, Ahmad Hammad, Daniel James Kitts, Tanya Anand, Michael Ditillo, Molly Douglas, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Routine frailty assessment has emerged recently in the surgical literature and is an important prognostication and risk stratification tool. The aim of our study was to review our 7-y experience with two frailty assessment tools and changing trends in their use. Methods: We performed a 7-y (2011-2017) analysis of our prospectively maintained frailty database. Frail patients were identified using the emergency general surgery and trauma specific frailty indices. Outcome measures were rates of compliance with frailty assessment, overall complications, discharge to skilled nursing facility (SNF)/rehab, and mortality over the study period. Multivariate logistic regression and Cochran-Armitage trend analyses were performed. Results: We evaluated a total of 1045 geriatric patients (Trauma: 587, EGS: 458). Mean age was 74.5 ± 7.9 y, 74% were males, and 81% were white. Overall, 34% of the patients were frail. Compared to non-frail patients, frail patients had higher adjusted rates of complications (OR 2.4 [1.9-2.9]), mortality (OR 1.8 [1.4-2.3]), and rehab/SNF disposition (OR 3.7 [3.1-4.3]). The compliance rate of measuring frailty increased from 12% in 2011 to 78% in 2017, P < 0.001 (Figure). The complication rate decreased (33% versus 21%, P < 0.001), while the rate of discharge disposition to SNF/Rehab increased (41% versus 58%, P < 0.001). There was no difference in mortality (11% versus 9.8%, P = 0.48) over the study period. Conclusions: Adherence to frailty measurement increased over the study period. This was accompanied by a significant decline in overall in-hospital complications. Frailty indices can be utilized to identify high-risk patients and develop post-operative strategies to improve outcomes in acute care surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-244
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Emergency general surgery
  • Frailty
  • Trauma
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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