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1.  Screening for frailty in primary care: a systematic review of the psychometric properties of the frailty index in community-dwelling older people 
BMC Geriatrics  2014;14:27.
To better accommodate for the complex care needs of frail, older people, general practitioners must be capable of easily identifying frailty in daily clinical practice, for example, by using the frailty index (FI). To explore whether the FI is a valid and adequate screening instrument for primary care, we conducted a systematic review of its psychometric properties.
We searched the Cochrane, PubMed and Embase databases and included original studies focusing on the criterion validity, construct validity and responsiveness of the FI when applied in community-dwelling older people. We evaluated the quality of the studies included using the Quality in Prognosis Studies (QUIPS) tool. This systematic review was conducted based on the PRISMA statement.
Of the twenty studies identified, eighteen reported on FIs derived from research data, one reported upon an FI derived from an administrative database of home-care clients, and one reported upon an FI derived from routine primary care data. In general, the FI showed good criterion and construct validity but lacked studies on responsiveness. When compared with studies that used data gathered for research purposes, there are indications that the FI mean score and range might be different in datasets using routine primary care data; however, this finding needs further investigation.
Our results suggest that the FI is a valid frailty screening instrument. However, further research using routine Electronic Medical Record data is necessary to investigate whether the psychometric properties of the FI are generalizable to a primary care setting and to facilitate its interpretation and implementation in daily clinical practice.
Trial registration
PROSPERO systematic review register number: CRD42013003737.
PMCID: PMC3946826  PMID: 24597624
Frailty; Systematic review; Psychometric properties; Primary care; Screening; Older patients
2.  Identifying frailty: do the Frailty Index and Groningen Frailty Indicator cover different clinical perspectives? a cross-sectional study 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:64.
Early identification of frailty is important for proactive primary care. Currently, however, there is no consensus on which measure to use. Therefore, we examined whether a Frailty Index (FI), based on ICPC-coded primary care data, and the Groningen Frailty Indicator (GFI) questionnaire identify the same older people as frail.
We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study of 1,580 patients aged ≥ 60 years in a Dutch primary care center. Patients received a GFI questionnaire and were surveyed on their baseline characteristics. Frailty-screening software calculated their FI score. The GFI and FI scores were compared as continuous and dichotomised measures.
FI data were available for 1549 patients (98%). 663 patients (42%) returned their GFI questionnaire. Complete GFI and FI scores were available for 638 patients (40.4%), mean age 73.4 years, 52.8% female. There was a positive correlation between the GFI and the FI (Pearson’s correlation coefficient 0.544). Using dichotomised scores, 84.3% of patients with a low FI score also had a low GFI score. In patients with a high FI score, 55.1% also had a high GFI score. A continuous FI score accurately predicted a dichotomised GFI score (AUC 0.78, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.82). Being widowed or divorced was an independent predictor of both a high GFI score in patients with a low FI score, and a high FI score in patients with a low GFI score.
The FI and the GFI moderately overlap in identifying frailty in community-dwelling older patients. To provide optimal proactive primary care, we suggest an initial FI screening in routine healthcare data, followed by a GFI questionnaire for patients with a high FI score or otherwise at high risk as the preferred two-step frailty screening process in primary care.
PMCID: PMC3665587  PMID: 23692735
Frailty; Primary care; Frailty index; Groningen frailty indicator; Proactive care
3.  Proactive and integrated primary care for frail older people: design and methodological challenges of the Utrecht primary care PROactive frailty intervention trial (U-PROFIT) 
BMC Geriatrics  2012;12:16.
Currently, primary care for frail older people is reactive, time consuming and does not meet patients' needs. A transition is needed towards proactive and integrated care, so that daily functioning and a good quality of life can be preserved. To work towards these goals, two interventions were developed to enhance the care of frail older patients in general practice: a screening and monitoring intervention using routine healthcare data (U-PRIM) and a nurse-led multidisciplinary intervention program (U-CARE). The U-PROFIT trial was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions. The aim of this paper is to describe the U-PROFIT trial design and to discuss methodological issues and challenges.
The effectiveness of U-PRIM and U-CARE is being tested in a three-armed, cluster randomized trial in 58 general practices in the Netherlands, with approximately 5000 elderly individuals expected to participate. The primary outcome is the effect on activities of daily living as measured with the Katz ADL index. Secondary outcomes are quality of life, mortality, nursing home admission, emergency department and out-of-hours General Practice (GP), surgery visits, and caregiver burden.
In a large, pragmatic trial conducted in daily clinical practice with frail older patients, several challenges and methodological issues will occur. Recruitment and retention of patients and feasibility of the interventions are important issues. To enable broad generalizability of results, careful choices of the design and outcome measures are required. Taking this into account, the U-PROFIT trial aims to provide robust evidence for a structured and integrated approach to provide care for frail older people in primary care.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3373372  PMID: 22533710
Frailty; Older people; Proactive and integrated care; General practice; Primary care

Results 1-3 (3)