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Korean J Intern Med. 2016 May;31(3):594-600. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2014.331. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

The Korean version of the FRAIL scale: clinical feasibility and validity of assessing the frailty status of Korean elderly.

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Geriatric Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



The fatigue, resistance, ambulation, illnesses, and loss of weight (FRAIL) scale is a screening tool for frailty status using a simple 5-item questionnaire. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical feasibility and validity of the Korean version of the FRAIL (K-FRAIL) scale.


Questionnaire items were translated and administered to 103 patients aged ≥ 65 years who underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment at the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. In this cross-sectional study, the K-FRAIL scale was compared with the domains and the multidimensional frailty index of the comprehensive geriatric assessment. We also assessed the time required to complete the scale.


The participants' mean age was 76.8 years (standard deviation [SD], 6.1), and 55 (53.4%) were males. The mean overall frailty index was 0.19 (SD, 0.17). For K-FRAIL-robust, prefrail, and frail patients, the mean frailty indices were 0.09, 0.18, and 0.34, respectively (p for trend < 0.001). A higher degree of impairment in the K-FRAIL scale was associated with worse nutritional status, poor physical performance, functional dependence, and polypharmacy. The number of items with impairment in the K-FRAIL scale was positively associated with the frailty index (B = 3.73, p < 0.001). The K-FRAIL scale could differentiate vulnerability from robustness with a sensitivity of 0.90 and a specificity of 0.33. Of all patients, 75 (72.8%) completed the K-FRAIL scale within < 3 minutes.


The K-FRAIL scale is correlated with the frailty index and is a simple tool to screen for frailty in a clinical setting.


Diagnosis; Elderly; Frail; Geriatric assessment

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