A standardized, evidenced-based method to assess frailty across clinical and research settings.
JEREMY WALSTON, M.D. INTRODUCES
The Johns Hopkins Frailty Assessment Calculator
Physical frailty in older adults is a clinically recognizable state of increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes such as disability, falls, institutionalization, and death. It is often defined as a medical syndrome that results from age-associated declines across multiple physiologic systems. Clinicians and researchers need a standardized method to consistently and accurately identify those patients who are most frail to better manage their care. Hundreds of studies have shown frailty—a clinically recognizable state of increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes such as disability, falls, institutionalization, and death—to be useful in assessing patient risk.
The online Johns Hopkins Frailty Assessment Calculator allows a clinician or researcher to enter five standardized measurements. The output is a single score that is automatically generated, providing a classification of either frail (score 3-5), pre-frail (score 1 or 2) or robust (score 0). The Hopkins Frailty Assessment Calculator is one of the most commonly utilized and cited tools available for researchers and clinicians. Using this tool, frailty is defined using measures of five phenotypic criteria: unintentional weight loss, exhaustion, low energy expenditure, low grip strength, and/or slowed walking speed.
The calculator is used at Johns Hopkins in both surgical and transplant services to:
This could save tens of millions of dollars in health care costs annually.
Other components needed to capture standardized measurements (not included):
The Frailty Assessment Calculator was developed from research conducted by Jeremy Walston, M.D., the Raymond and Anna Lublin Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a core faculty member in the Center of Aging and Health.
Dr. Walston has worked with a multidisciplinary team of investigators and trainees focused on aging and frailty to develop an outstanding clinical translational research program, which focuses on the identification of age-related molecular and physiological changes that contributes to frailty and chronic disease states, and the translation of these findings into clinically relevant interventions. As part of this ongoing effort, he helped to develop the most commonly utilized definition of frailty, and used this phenotype to identify inflammatory, endocrinological, and renin angiotensin system related pathways that influence frailty and late life decline. He has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications and has won numerous awards and prizes for his research.
The frailty phenotype was developed by Fried, Tangen, Walston and colleagues in the Cardiovascular Health Study in 2001. The frailty phenotype was validated by Bandeen-Roche and colleagues in the Women’s Health and Aging Studies in 2006.
Frailty in older adults: evidence of a phenotype website
For 130 years, Johns Hopkins Hospital has led the way in both biomedical discovery and health care, establishing the standard by which others follow and build upon. This is one of many faculty-developed programs, protocols and services provided by Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care.
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