Is current preoperative frailty assessment adequate?

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Abstract

Summary

Preoperative frailty predicts adverse postoperative outcomes. Recommendations for preoperative assessment of elderly patients include performing a frailty assessment. Despite the advantages of incorporating frailty assessment into surgical settings, there is limited research on surgical health care professionals’ perception and use of frailty assessment for perioperative care. We surveyed local health care employees to assess their attitudes toward and practices for frail patients. Nurses and allied health professionals were more likely than surgeons to agree frailty should play a role in planning a patient’s care. Lack of knowledge about frailty issues was a prominent barrier to the use of frailty assessments in practice, despite clinicians understanding that frailty affects their patients’ outcomes. Results of this survey suggest further training in frailty issues and the use of frailty assessment instruments is necessary and could improve the uptake of such tools for perioperative care planning.

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