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FRAILTY

ANCHOR LEAD:  CAN A NEW MEASURE OF A SENIOR’S HEALTH HELP DETERMINE LIKELY OUTCOMES AFTER SURGERY?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

When you think of the term ‘frail elder’ what picture comes to mind?  Turns out doctors have been using just that method, the so-called ‘eyeball test’ to predict whether a patient was robust enough to undergo surgery or was likely to need nursing home placement afterward.  But now a new test for frailty has been developed by Martin Makary and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

MAKARY: What we sought to do in our study was to quantify what doctors have been referring to as the eyeball test.  We wanted to come up with a standard methodology to measure a patient’s physiologic reserve or what we call frailty.  Frailty has been developed recently as a new domain of health, this represents an area of health not captured in how sick someone is or how disabled they are.  This is a domain of health that determines how well they can handle stress.   :29

The test can quite accurately assess the likelihood of nursing home placement and other outcomes.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey..

 


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