Introduction The evaluation of frailty requires some measurable components. In our environment, it is known that the use of these measures on a large scale will not easily operationalise. Given this, we study the possibility of identifying the syndrome of frailty through subjective questions.
Objective To validate the subjective components for evaluation of frailty.
Method This study is part of the SABE Study - Health, Well-being and Ageing, held in São Paulo, Brazil. This analysis used 433 elderly (age ≥75 years) in 2009. We adopted the phenotype of frailty proposed by Fried et al, as a gold standard (objective evaluation of unintentional weight loss, fatigue reported, reduced grip strength, reduced walking speed and low physical activity). In this model, elderly with three or more components are considered frail; those with one or two are pre-frail. Subjective evaluation was performed using dichotomous questions for each component. We calculated the reliability, sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values.
Results The subjective evaluation of an instrument is valid and reliable. The sensitivity was 89.7% among pre-frail and 63.2% among the frail. By analysing frailty process (pre-frail+frail) the sensitivity was 90%, positive predictive value was 85.2% and negative predictive value was 32.7%.
Conclusion The subjective evaluation of frailty is a good tool to identify frailty process in elderly.
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