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Neth J Med. 2017 Nov;75(9):379-385.

Optimising the ISAR-HP to screen efficiently for functional decline in older patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine - section of geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.



The Identification of Seniors At Risk-Hospitalised Patients (ISAR-HP) has recently been included in guidelines as a frailty indicator to identify patients for comprehensive geriatric assessment. Previous studies showed that the conventional cut-off score incorrectly classifies a high percentage of patients as high risk. We aimed to optimise the predictive value of ISAR-HP by using different cut-offs in older acutely hospitalised patients.


A prospective follow-up study was performed in two Dutch hospitals. Acutely hospitalised patients aged ≥ 70 years were included. Demographics, illness severity parameters, geriatric measurements and the ISAR-HP scores were obtained at baseline. The primary outcome was a combined end point of functional decline or mortality during 90-day follow-up.


In total 765 acutely hospitalised older patients were included, with a median age of 79 years, of whom 276 (36.1%) experienced functional decline or mortality. The conventional ISAR-HP cut-off of ≥ 2 assigned 432/765 patients (56.5%) as high risk, with a positive predictive value (PPV) of 0.49 (95%CI 0.45-0.54) and a negative predictive value of 0.81 (95%CI 0.76-0.85). Thus, 51% of those whom the ISAR-HP denoted as high risk did not experience the outcome of interest. Raising the cut-off to ≥ 4 assigned 205/765 patients (26.8%) as high risk, with a marginally increased PPV to 0.55 (95%CI 0.48-0.62).


The ISAR-HP with the conventional cut-off of ≥ 2 incorrectly identifies a large group of patients at high risk for functional decline or mortality and raising the cut-off to 4 only marginally improved performance. Caution is warranted to ensure efficient screening and follow-up interventions.

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