Doody P, Asamane EA, Aunger JA, Swales B, Lord JM, Greig CA & Whittaker AC (2022) The prevalence of frailty and pre-frailty among geriatric hospital inpatients and its association with economic prosperity and healthcare expenditure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 467,779 geriatric hospital inpatients. Ageing Research Reviews, 80, Art. No.: 101666. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2022.101666
Frailty is a common and clinically significant condition among geriatric populations. Although well-evidenced pooled estimates of the prevalence of frailty exist within various settings and populations, presently there are none assessing the overall prevalence of frailty among geriatric hospital inpatients. The purpose of this review was to systematically search and analyse the prevalence of frailty among geriatric hospital inpatients within the literature and examine its associations with national economic indicators.
Systematic searches were conducted on Ovid, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL Plus, and the Cochrane Library, encompassing all literature published prior to 22 November 2018, supplemented with manual reference searches. Included studies utilised a validated operational definition of frailty, reported the prevalence of frailty, had a minimum age ≥ 65 years, attempted to assess the whole ward/clinical population, and occurred among hospital inpatients. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality.
Ninety-six studies with a pooled sample of 467,779 geriatric hospital inpatients were included. The median critical appraisal score was 8/9 (range 7–9). The pooled prevalence of frailty, and pre-frailty, among geriatric hospital inpatients was 47.4% (95% CI 43.7–51.1%), and 25.8% (95% CI 22.0–29.6%), respectively. Significant differences were observed in the prevalence of frailty stratified by age, prevalent morbidity, ward type, clinical population, and operational definition. No significant differences were observed in stratified analyses by sex or continent, or significant associations between the prevalence of frailty and economic indicators.
Frailty is highly prevalent among geriatric hospital inpatients. High heterogeneity exists within this setting based on various clinical and demographic characteristics. Pooled estimates reported in this review place the prevalence of frailty among geriatric hospital inpatients between that reported for community-dwelling older adults and older adults in nursing homes, outlining an increase in the relative prevalence of frailty with progression through the healthcare system.
Health economics; Frailty; Hospital; Inpatients; Older adults; Prevalence
Ageing Research Reviews: Volume 80