• Utilisation of a suite of screening tools to determine adverse healthcare outcomes in an older frail population admitted to a community virtual ward

      Lewis, Clare; O'Caoimh, Rónán; Patton, Declan; O'Connor, Tom; Moore, Zena; Nugent, Linda E; Rónán O'Caoimh, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork, T12 WE28, Ireland. (MDPI, 2021-05-24)
      Risk stratification to assess healthcare outcomes among older people is challenging due to the interplay of multiple syndromes and conditions. Different short risk-screening tools can assist but the most useful instruments to predict responses and outcomes following interventions are unknown. We examined the relationship between a suite of screening tools and risk of adverse outcomes (pre-determined clinical 'decline' i.e., becoming 'unstable' or 'deteriorating' at 60-90 days, and institutionalisation, hospitalisation and death at 120 days), among community dwellers (n = 88) after admission to a single-centre, Irish, Community Virtual Ward (CVW). The mean age of patients was 82.8 (±6.4) years. Most were severely frail, with mean Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) scores of 6.8 ± 1.33. Several instruments were useful in predicting 'decline' and other healthcare outcomes. After adjustment for age and gender, higher frailty levels, odds ratio (OR) 3.29, (p = 0.002), impaired cognition (Mini Mental State Examination; OR 4.23, p < 0.001), lower mobility (modified FIM) (OR 3.08, p < 0.001) and reduced functional level (Barthel Index; OR 6.39, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with clinical 'decline' at 90 days. Prolonged (>30 s) TUG times (OR 1.27, p = 0.023) and higher CFS scores (OR 2.29, p = 0.045) were associated with institutionalisation. Only TUG scores were associated with hospitalisation and only CFS, MMSE and Barthel scores at baseline were associated with mortality. Utilisation of a multidimensional suite of risk-screening tools across a range of domains measuring frailty, mobility and cognition can help predict clinical 'decline' for an already frail older population. Their association with other outcomes was less useful. A better understanding of the utility of these instruments in vulnerable populations will provide a framework to inform the impact of interventions and assist in decision-making and anticipatory care planning for older patients in CVW models.