Morley JE, Vellas B, Abellan van Kan G, et al.
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2013;14:392-7
In previous consensus conferences on frailty, significant strides were made and it was agreed that frailty is a clinical disorder rather than a disability, that it is associated with vulnerability and functional impairment, and that it can be reversed. However, to this point, it has been extremely difficult to recommend clear next steps in the absence of a concise operational definition of frailty.
This article discusses the results of a frailty consensus conference convened in Orlando, Florida, USA in December 2012, which aimed to propose an operational definition of frailty, discuss screening and treatment, and identify an appropriate population to screen. The authors propose a call to action to successfully combat frailty, in part because of a growing elderly population.
The article summarizes differences between the broader definition of frailty (a general state or condition of an individual) and the more specific medical syndrome (physical frailty). The authors also set forth several points and recommendations including, among others, encouraging the use of simple screening tests by physicians to identify frail patients or those at high risk for frailty; demonstrating that physical frailty is a manageable condition; and recommending that all persons older than 70 years be screened for frailty.