Reversing Frailty Levels in Primary Care Using the CARES Model

Olga Theou, Grace H. Park, Antonina Garm, Xiaowei Song, Barry Clarke, Kenneth Rockwood

Abstract


Background

The purpose of this manuscript was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES) model in measuring and mitigating frailty among community-dwelling older adults.

Methods

The CARES model is based on a goal-oriented multidisciplinary primary care plan which combines a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) with health coaching. A total of 51 older adults (82 ± 7 years; 33 females) participated in the pilot phase of this initiative. Frailty was measured using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and the Frailty Index (FI-CGA) at baseline and at six-month follow-up.

Results

The FI-CGA at follow-up (0.21 ± 0.08) was significantly lower than the FI-CGA at baseline (0.24 ± 0.08), suggesting an average reduction of 1.8 deficits. Sixty-one per cent of participants improved their FI-CGA and 38% improved CFS categories. Participants classified as vulnerable/frail at baseline were more responsive to the intervention compared to non-frail participants.

Conclusion

Pilot data showed that it is feasible to assess frailty in primary care and that the CARES intervention might have a positive effect on frailty, a promising finding that requires further investigations. General practitioners who participate in the CARES model can now access their patients’ FI-CGA scores at point of service through their electronic medical records.


Keywords


frailty; comprehensive geriatric assessment; frailty index; clinical frailty scale; Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES)

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.20.274

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ISSN: 1925-8348 (Online)