Frailty impacts an older person’s ability to overcome surgical procedures and certain injuries, and conducting frailty assessments may be able to help physicians have more informed conversations with patients about risks, notes a new study in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Researchers assessed 126 older adults aged 60 or older who were considered candidates for major thoracic surgery. The study participants were screened for five hallmark signs of frailty: weakness (grip strength), slow gait (15-foot walk), unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion and low self-reported physical activity. Although only 12 percent of the study group were deemed frail, 57 percent were considered prefrail.
Better knowledge of frailty scores and their associated risks may even encourage residents to exercise and make other changes to improve their risk factors, the study concluded.