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Age Ageing. 2016 Jul;45(4):469-74. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afw048. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Postal screening can identify frailty and predict poor outcomes in older adults: longitudinal data from INTER-FRAIL study.

Author information

1
Research Unit of Medicine of Ageing, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
2
Osservatorio di Epidemiologia, Agenzia Regionale di Sanità della Toscana, Florence, Italy.
3
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Florence, Italy.
4
Fiorentina Sud-Est Health District, Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Florence, Italy.
5
Valdichiana Senese Health District, Unità Funzionale Segretariato Sociale, Azienda USL 7, Siena, Italy.
6
Directorate General for Prevention, Italian Ministry of Health, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

identification of older individuals at risk for health-related adverse outcomes (HRAO) is necessary for population-based preventive interventions. Aim of this study was to improve a previously validated postal screening questionnaire for frailty in non-disabled older subjects and to test its prognostic validity in a vast sample of older community-dwellers.

METHODS:

individuals aged 70+ underwent a mass postal screening. Physical frailty phenotype (PFP) was assessed in the unselected subsample of the first responders. After a 1-year follow-up, HRAO were recorded in the whole sample, including survival, access to Emergency Department, hospitalisation and Long-Term Care admission.

RESULTS:

the questionnaire was mailed to 17,273 subjects, whose response rate was 55%. Among the first 1,037 responders without overt disability, the revised questionnaire was 75% sensitive and 69% specific for PFP (ROC 0.772). Non-disabled subjects who screened positive had a higher risk of HRAO in comparison with those who screened negative and similar to non-responders. Risk of adverse outcome was highest among disabled subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

a simple questionnaire delivered by mail has good accuracy in detecting PFP in non-disabled older subjects and is able to predict HRAO.

KEYWORDS:

frailty; older people; postal screening; prognosis

PMID:
27013497
DOI:
10.1093/ageing/afw048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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