Korean J Intern Med.  2021 Sep;36(5):1233-1241. 10.3904/kjim.2020.677.

Clinical Frailty Scale, K-FRAIL questionnaire, and clinical outcomes in an acute hospitalist unit in Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Hospital Medicine Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Regional Emergency Medical Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Frailty increases the risks of in-hospital adverse events such as delirium, falls, and functional decline in older adults. We assessed the feasibility and clinical relevance of frailty status in Korean older inpatients using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and Korean version of the Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illnesses, & Loss of Weight scale (K-FRAIL) questionnaires.
Frailty status was measured using the Korean-translated version of the CFS and K-FRAIL questionnaire within 3 days from admission in 144 consecutive patients aged 60 years or older. The correlation between CFS and K-FRAIL score was assessed. The criterion validity of CFS was assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis. As outcomes, delirium, bedsore, length of stay (LOS), in-hospital mortality, and unplanned 30-day readmission were measured by reviewing medical records.
The mean age of the study population was 70.1 years (range, 60 to 91), and 75 (52.1%) were men. By linear regression analysis, CFS and K-FRAIL were positively correlated (B = 0.72, p < 0.001). A CFS cutoff of ≥ 5 maximized sensitivity + specificity to classify frailty using K-FRAIL as a reference (C-index = 0.893). Higher frailty burden by both CFS and K-FRAIL was associated with higher LOS and bedsores. Unplanned readmission and in-hospital mortality were associated with higher CFS score but not with K-FRAIL score, after adjusting for age, gender, polypharmacy, and multimorbidity.
Frailty status by CFS was associated with LOS, bedsores, unplanned readmission, and in-hospital mortality. CFS can be used to screen high-risk patients who may benefit from geriatric interventions and discharge planning in acutely hospitalized older adults.


Frailty; Prognosis; Hospitalists; Patient readmission
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