A summary of our recent frailty risk prediction workshop.
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Living Well in Communities
Identifying People at Risk of Frailty in the Community workshop

Date: Wednesday 9th December
Where: Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline

Following a recommendation from the National Risk Prediction Advisory group, this workshop was set up to focus on identifying people in the community who are at risk of being frail, and to achieve a consensus on the future state of frailty prediction in Scotland.

The workshop was attended by representatives from across Health and Social care, including the Living Well in Communities Health & Social Care Partnerships, National Programme Leads, and Data experts.


Description of Frailty

During the first part of the workshop the group developed a description of frailty, using a number of existing definitions to stimulate the discussion. These included some of the definitions that were presented at the Living Well with Frailty event which took place on Tuesday 27 October 2015. After discussing important words and phrases a working description of frailty was agreed as:

“A complex dynamic state of reduced reserve and increased vulnerability leading to a decreased ability to withstand illness or other stressors without loss of physical or cognitive function”

Risk Prediction and Assessment Tools

The second half of the workshop was devoted to discussing the existing health and social care risk prediction tools and frailty assessments, to see if any lessons can be drawn from them to inform the prediction of frailty in the community.

The group identified the following important characteristics and principles for a frailty risk prediction tool:
  • Not dependent on age
  • Little impact on staff time
  • Simple to use
  • IT Based
  • Real Time Data
  • Prevalence Rate
It was agreed that two forms of risk prediction should be available in the community that can be used by a variety of people, including non-medical carers:

Testing what will be undertaken around E-FI and SPARRA

There was an in depth discussion on the frailty identification tools.  This included a presentation from Angela Wilkinson from NHS Fife on the E-Frailty Index,  following learning from John Young’s presentation  on the Electronic Frailty Index (e-FI) at the Living Well with Frailty event on October 27th 2015.  The following tools were also discussed: 
Following consideration of the existing tools it was agreed that two forms of risk prediction would be tested in the community:
  1. Adapt the Gerontopole for use by the general public.
  2. Work with GP practices  to calculate the E-frailty index for their patients and compare against SPARRA scores to determine if SPARRA can be adapted to identify population groups at risk of frailty.
Already testing Gerontopole questionnaires or E-Frailty locally?  Let us know at

Want to be involved in testing Gerontopole or the E-Frailty Index?  Get in touch at

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