Frailty is associated with adverse kidney transplant outcomes and can be assessed by subjective and objective metrics. There is increasing recognition of the value of metrics obtainable remotely. We compared the self-reported SF-36 physical functioning subscale score (SF-36 PF) with in-person physical performance tests (6-minute walk and sit-to-stand) in a prospective cohort of kidney transplant candidates. We assessed each metric’s ability to predict time to the composite outcome of waitlist removal or death, censoring at transplant. We built time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curves and calculated the area under the curve [AUC(t)] at 1 year, using bootstrapping for internal validation. In 199 patients followed for a median of 346 days, 41 reached the composite endpoint. Lower SF-36 PF scores were associated with higher risk of waitlist removal/death, with every 10-point decrease corresponding to a 16% increase in risk. All models showed an AUC(t) of 0.83-0.84 that did not contract substantially after internal validation. Among kidney transplant candidates, SF-36 PF, obtainable remotely, can help to stratify the risk of waitlist removal or death, and may be used as a screening tool for poor physical functioning in ongoing candidate evaluation, particularly where travel, increasing patient volume, or other restrictions challenge in-person assessment.
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