A Scoping Review of Frailty and Acute Care in Middle-Aged and Older Individuals with Recommendations for Future Research


  • David B. Hogan University of Calgary
  • Colleen J. Maxwell University of Waterloo
  • Jonathan Afilalo McGill University
  • Rakesh C. Arora University of Manitoba
  • Sean M. Bagshaw University of Alberta
  • Jenny Basran University of Saskatchewan
  • Howard Bergman McGill University
  • Susan E. Bronskill Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Caitlin A. Carter University of Waterloo
  • Elijah Dixon University of Calgary
  • Brenda Hemmelgarn University of Calgary
  • Kenneth Madden University of British Columbia
  • Arnold Mitnitski Dalhousie University
  • Darryl Rolfson University of Alberta
  • Henry T. Stelfox University of Calgary
  • Helen Tam-Tham University of Calgary
  • Hannah Wunsch University of Toronto




Frailty, Acute Care, Hospitalization, Outcomes, Assessment


There is general agreement that frailty is a state of heightened vulnerability to stressors arising from impairments in multiple systems leading to declines in homeostatic reserve and resiliency, but unresolved issues persist about its detection, underlying pathophysiology, and relationship with aging, disability, and multimorbidity. A particularly challenging area is the relationship between frailty and hospitalization. Based on the deliberations of a 2014 Canadian expert consultation meeting and a scoping review of the relevant literature between 2005 and 2015, this discussion paper presents a review of the current state of knowledge on frailty in the acute care setting, including its prevalence and ability to both predict the occurrence and outcomes of hospitalization. The examination of the available evidence highlighted a number of specific clinical and research topics requiring additional study. We conclude with a series of consensus recommendations regarding future research priorities in this important area.


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How to Cite

Hogan DB, Maxwell CJ, Afilalo J, Arora RC, Bagshaw SM, Basran J, Bergman H, Bronskill SE, Carter CA, Dixon E, Hemmelgarn B, Madden K, Mitnitski A, Rolfson D, Stelfox HT, Tam-Tham H, Wunsch H. A Scoping Review of Frailty and Acute Care in Middle-Aged and Older Individuals with Recommendations for Future Research. Can Geriatr J [Internet]. 2017 Jan. 27 [cited 2023 Mar. 26];20(1). Available from: https://cgjonline.ca/index.php/cgj/article/view/240