Article

The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 629-631

Looking for frailty in community-dwelling older persons: The Gerontopole Frailty Screening Tool (GFST)

  • B. VellasAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseINSERM UMR1027Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , L. BalardyAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseINSERM UMR1027
  • , S. Gillette-GuyonnetAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseINSERM UMR1027Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , G. Abellan Van KanAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseUniversité de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , A. Ghisolfi-MarqueAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseUniversité de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , J. SubraAffiliated withDépartement de médecine générale, Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , S. BismuthAffiliated withDépartement de médecine générale, Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , S. OustricAffiliated withUniversité de Toulouse III Paul SabatierDépartement de médecine générale, Université de Toulouse III Paul Sabatier
  • , Matteo CesariAffiliated withGérontopôle, Centre Hspitalier Universitaire de ToulouseINSERM UMR1027Université de Toulouse III Paul SabatierInstitut du Vieillissement, Gérontopôle, Université Toulouse III — Paul Sabatier Email author 

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Abstract

The frailty syndrome is a pre-disability condition suitable to be targeted by preventive interventions against disability. In order to identify frail older persons at risk of negative outcomes, general practitioners must be provided with an easy and quick screening tool for detecting frailty without special effort. In the present paper, we present the screening tool for frailty that the Gérontopôle of Toulouse (France) has developed and implemented in primary care in the region with the collaboration of the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Toulouse. The Gérontopôle Frailty Screening Tool (GFST) is designed to be administered to persons aged ≥65 years with no physical disability and acute clinical disease. It is composed by an initial questionnaire aimed at attracting the general practitioner’s attention to very general signs and/or symptoms suggesting the presence of an underlying frailty status. Then, in a second section, the general practitioner expresses his/her own view about the frailty status of the individual. The clinical judgment of the general practitioner is finally retained for determining the eventual presence of frailty. Preliminary data document that almost everyone (95.2%) of the 442 patients referred to the Gérontopôle frailty clinic by general practitioners using the GFST indeed presents a condition of (pre-)frailty according to the criteria proposed by Fried and colleagues in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The use of the GFST may help at raising awareness about the importance of identifying frailty, training healthcare professionals at the detection of the syndrome, and developing preventive interventions against disabling conditions.

Key words

Preventive medicine primary care elderly risk factors frailty