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Saudi J Anaesth. 2019 Jan-Mar;13(1):3-8. doi: 10.4103/sja.SJA_275_18.

Physiological and operative severity score for the enumeration of mortality and morbidity, frailty, and perioperative quality of life in the elderly.

Author information

Faculty of Medicine, Porto University, Porto, Portugal.
Department of Anaesthesiology, Centro Hospitalar São João, Porto, Portugal.



Physiological and Operative Severity Score for the Enumeration of Mortality and Morbidity (POSSUM) is a validated instrument used to predict morbidity. The aim of our study was to evaluate the performance of the POSSUM score system on predicting perioperative frailty and quality of life (QOL) in elderly surgical patients.

Patients and Methods:

An observational prospective study was conducted during 3 months. POSSUM was used to determine operative morbidity risk. Patients with a POSSUM score ≥26 were considered as having a high POSSUM (PHP). WHODAS 2.0, EuroQOL-5 dimensions (EQ-5D), Charlson score, and the Clinical Frailty Scale were used to assess the QOL and frailty. Chi-square, Fisher's exact, or Mann-Whitney tests were used for comparisons.


Two hundred and thirty-five patients were included. Median age was 69 years; 58% were ASA I/II and 42% ASA III/IV. Frailty was present in 53 patients (23%). Median POSSUM score was 26. Patients PHP were older (median age 71 vs. 68, P = 0.008), more frequently ASA III/IV (P = 0.001), had higher median Charlson scores (7 vs. 5, P = 0.006) and were more frail (49% vs. 26%, P < 0.001). PHP presented more problems in EQ-5D dimensions preoperatively (mobility: 59% vs 41%, P = 0.008; care: 41% vs. 25%, P = 0.013; activity: 52% vs. 32%, P = 0.002; pain: 59% vs. 45%, P = 0.041) but not anxiety (P = 0.137). Three months after surgery, PHP patients presented more problems in mobility: 63% vs. 38%, P < 0.001; care: 48% vs. 31%, P = 0.009; activity: 58% vs. 44%, P = 0.036; pain 59% vs. 37%, P = 0.001 and anxiety: 54% vs. 50%, P = 0.025.


Patients PHP were frailer and had worse perioperative QOL.


Aged; frailty; health status; quality of life; risk assessment

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