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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

FRA 2015-B-16

Acute-Care Frailty Ladder

This study addresses a current gap in the implementation of frailty measures in an acute care setting, which is the need to implement a measure that can serve as an evaluative measure with robust psychometric properties yielding a legitimate total score.

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findingsAn Acute-Care Frailty Ladder for use in an acute care setting will be developed and tested.

Impact of findingsPatient, family members and clinicians can use this ladder to situate a person on this continuum in order to see what the next step is on the ladder to improve the situation or to avoid deterioration. It can be used as an evaluative instrument as it has a legitimate total score permitting change to be quantified. Patients and family members will be able to use the ladder to set goals to improvement.

About the Project

Hospital care for an elderly person, either as an out- or in-patient, indicates a complex health condition that may put the senior at risk for developing or aggravating frailty and subsequently progressing to potentially irreversible functional impairments, limitations and restrictions.

Hospital care is also an opportunity to identify frailty and to provide interventions and services to reverse or delay progression. However, none of the many frailty indices or “measures” currently available is ideal for deployment in the busy hospital setting and none would meet modern robust psychometric standards for creating legitimate total scores.

For more details on the project rationale, hypothesis, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Nancy Mayo, BSc, MSc, PhD -- The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

José Morais, MD -- The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Helen McCall Hutchinson Fund

Project Contact: Nancy Mayo --

FRA 2015-B-16

Key words: frailty; outcomes; function; disability; physical function; Rasch analysis; measurement