Despite the known association between frailty and postoperative morbidity, the use of preoperative frailty in surgical practice remains limited. We sought to develop a risk tool to predict postoperative increase in functional dependence.
Patients of ≥65 years in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project database who had a primary hepatopancreatic surgery between 2015 and 2019 were used to identify predictors of increased dependence and development of a simplified tool to calculate the risk stratification score for increased discharge care level (
Among 31,338 patients who underwent primary hepatopancreatic surgery, 4,259 (13.6%) had an increased level of care at discharge compared to their preadmission care. Patients with increased discharge care had a higher proportion of patients with a modified frailty index of at least 2 (n = 1496; 35.1%) compared with individuals with unchanged care (n = 6,760; 25.0%). In addition, 12.3% (n = 3,858) were discharged to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility. Of note, the odds of increased care at discharge were increased by 1.41 (95% confidence interval: 1.32-1.50), 1.11 (95% confidence interval :1.11-1.12), and 1.95 (95% confidence interval:1.86-2.04) times with every unit increase in modified frailty index, age beyond 65 years, and the number of in-hospital complications, respectively. Area under receiver operative curve for the parsimonious model used to develop the risk calculator was 0.7486 (95% confidence interval: 0.7405-0.7566) (all P < .001).
Approximately, 1 in 7 patients required an increased level of care at the time of discharge compared with their preadmission status. A simplified web-based risk tool can be used in clinical practice as a surgical decision aid in post-discharge planning after complex elective surgery.

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