Use of a frailty index in end of life care

"Frailty is a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves. Around 10% of people aged over 65 years have frailty, rising to between a quarter and a half of those aged over 85 years"

Clegg et al, 2013

Health professionals need to recognise when a patient may be nearing the end of their lives, so that they can talk to them about the sort of care that would prefer, and where they would like to be treated during their final illness.

General Practitioners can find it difficult to know when a frail older person is likely to die, as their health may have been declining for some time. To help GPs identify and assess the severity of frailty amongst their patients, researchers have put together a simple tool in one of the GP computer systems. An electronic frailty index (eFI) is calculated, using information recorded in patients’ electronic health records.

Three million people aged over 65 now have a frailty score available. This research will look at whether the eFI would be useful to help GPs to identify their frail, older patients who may be approaching the end of life

Athena Swan Award

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