Interrater Reliability of the Clinical Frailty Scale by Geriatrician and Intensivist in Patients Admitted to the Intensive Care Unit
The Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) is a commonly used frailty measure in intensive care unit (ICU) settings. We are interested in the test characteristics, especially interrater reliability, of the CFS in ICU by comparing the scores of intensivists to geriatricians.
We conducted a prospective cohort study on a convenience sample of newly admitted patients to an ICU in Edmonton, Canada. An intensivist and a resident in Geriatric Medicine (GM) independently assigned a CFS score on 158 adults within 72 hours of admission. A specialist in Geriatric Medicine assigned a CFS score independently of 20 of the 158 patients to assess agreement between the two raters trained in geriatrics. Predictive validity was captured using mortality and length of stay.
Agreement on CFS score was fair for intensivists vs. GM resident (kappa 0.32) and for intensivists vs. GM specialist (0.29), but substantial for GM resident vs. staff (0.79). Despite this, the CFS remained prognostically relevant, regardless of rater background. Frailty (CFS ≥ 5) as assessed by either intensivist or GM resident was a strong predictor of in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 3.6; 95% CI, 1.6-8.4, p = .003 and OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.3-6.9; p = .01, respectively). Frailty was also positively correlated with age, illness severity measured by APACHE II score, and length of hospital stay.
The interrater reliability of the CFS in ICU settings is fair for intensivists vs. geriatricians.