Reliability of the Clinical Frailty Scale in very elderly ICU patients: a prospective European study

Hans Flaatten, Bertrand Guidet, Finn H Andersen, Antonio Artigas, Maurizio Cecconi, Ariane Boumendil, Muhammed Elhadi, Jesper Fjølner, Michael Joannidis, Christian Jung, Susannah Leaver, Brian Marsh, Rui Moreno, Sandra Oeyen, Yuriy Nalapko, Joerg C Schefold, Wojciech Szczeklik, Sten Walther, Ximena Watson, Tilemachos ZafeiridisDylan W de Lange

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PURPOSE: Frailty is a valuable predictor for outcome in elderly ICU patients, and has been suggested to be used in various decision-making processes prior to and during an ICU admission. There are many instruments developed to assess frailty, but few of them can be used in emergency situations. In this setting the clinical frailty scale (CFS) is frequently used. The present study is a sub-study within a larger outcome study of elderly ICU patients in Europe (the VIP-2 study) in order to document the reliability of the CFS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: From the VIP-2 study, 129 ICUs in 20 countries participated in this sub-study. The patients were acute admissions ≥ 80 years of age and frailty was assessed at admission by two independent observers using the CFS. Information was obtained from the patient, if not feasible, from the family/caregivers or from hospital files. The profession of the rater and source of data were recorded along with the score. Interrater variability was calculated using linear weighted kappa analysis.

RESULTS: 1923 pairs of assessors were included and background data of patients were similar to the whole cohort (n = 3920). We found a very high inter-rater agreement (weighted kappa 0.86), also in subgroup analyses. The agreement when comparing information from family or hospital records was better than using only direct patient information, and pairs of raters from same profession performed better than from different professions.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we documented a high reliability using CFS in this setting. This frailty score could be used more frequently in elderly ICU patients in order to create a more holistic and realistic impression of the patient´s condition prior to ICU admission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalAnnals of Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021


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