The Convergent Validity of the electronic Frailty Index (eFI) with the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS)
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Antoinette Broad, Ben Carter, Sara Mckelvie and Jonathan Hewitt. The Convergent Validity of the electronic Frailty Index (eFI) with the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS).Geriatrics 2020, 5(4), 88
Background: Different scales are being used to measure frailty. This study examined the convergent validity of the electronic Frailty Index (eFI) with the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Method: The cross-sectional study recruited patients from three regional community nursing teams in the South East of England. The CFS was rated at recruitment, and the eFI was extracted from electronic health records (EHRs). A McNemar test of paired data was used to compare discordant pairs between the eFI and the CFS, and an exact McNemar Odds Ratio (OR) was calculated. Findings: Of 265 eligible patients consented, 150 (57%) were female, with a mean age of 85.6 years (SD = 7.8), and 78% were 80 years and older. Using the CFS, 68% were estimated to be moderate to severely frail, compared to 91% using the eFI. The eFI recorded a greater degree of frailty than the CFS (OR = 5.43, 95%CI 3.05 to 10.40; p < 0.001). This increased to 7.8 times more likely in men, and 9.5 times in those aged over 80 years. Conclusions: This study found that the eFI overestimates the frailty status of community dwelling older people. Overestimating frailty may impact on the demand of resources required for further management and treatment of those identified as being frail.