Study Offers New Model to Assess Frailty
Assessing all older patients in geriatric day hospitals (GDHFs) for frailty and cognitive impairment can be challenging. Now a new study suggests that a care model involving a specialist nurse trained in primary care and geriatric assessment seems to meet the needs of the population and enable GDHFs to accurately identify elders at risk of frailty-related health issues.
In a recent study published in JAMDA, “Implementing Assessment of Cognitive Function and Frailty into Primary Care: Data from Frailty and Alzheimer Disease Prevention into Primary Care (FAP) Study Pilot,” the authors employed an assessment using an experienced nurse trained in geriatrics, recruited from a local hospital in Toulouse, France. The nurse was trained by a senior geriatrician to perform the evaluations in the general practitioner’s (GP) office. According to the authors, the nurse learned to make evaluations using comprehensive geriatric assessment and frailty assessment tools and to collaborate with the GP to establish a personalized plan of care and prevention. The nurse assessed 200 patients, with a mean age of 81.3, in a 6-month period.
The ability to identify and manage frailty and cognitive impairment in elders is more important than ever, as the aging population is booming and practitioners are increasingly expected to maximize outcomes and quality of life while keeping costs down. The authors noted that prevention is a main therapeutic goal to “tackle” disability, and facilities and other care settings must be able to assess all patients who seem frail or cognitively impaired so that they can implement appropriate care strategies. A model such as the one highlighted in this study may be one solution moving forward, the authors suggested.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Universitaire de Toulouse, France.