Entries by Brian Buta, MHS

Towards a self-reported assessment of physical frailty: updates and challenges

Physical frailty is commonly defined by the Physical Frailty Phenotype (Fried et al, 2001), which uses a combination of self-report and objective measures. Physical frailty is a powerful predictor of health outcomes, but it is rarely used outside of research settings because of challenges with implementation. In a busy clinical setting, performing repeated grip strength and timed walking tests is rarely feasible. Self-report questionnaires, in contrast, are easily administered both in the office and even at home for telemedicine visits.
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Frailty Science Presentations at ICFSR 2023

The 2023 International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research is coming up soon! This annual conference, which showcases state-of-the-art research on frailty and sarcopenia, will be held in Toulouse, France from March 22nd-24th.  There is also a virtual attendance option. Continue Reading

Telehealth: remote assessments of physical function and frailty measures

Objective measures of function are critical to both the clinical care of older adults and to research on healthy aging and physical frailty.  While telehealth had already been on the rise in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic skyrocketed the use of remote and virtual assessments, creating an urgent need to adapt methods for patient care and research data collection to the new environments. Clinicians and investigators, struggling with the need to collect functional information remotely over video conferencing or by telephone, need guidance regarding the safety, feasibility and utility of various options and measures. Continue Reading

Frail Older Patients in the Emergency Department: Considerations during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Consider the following hypothetical scenario from the experiences of an emergency medicine physician: An 84-year-old man is transferred to the emergency department (ED) from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) following three days of mild shortness of breath and non-productive cough. His past medical history includes mild dementia, COPD on home oxygen (4 liters per minute), and atrial fibrillation on anticoagulation and hypertension. The emergency medicine providers have no advanced care directives from the patient’s SNF. On arrival, the patient is awake and alert with a slight increase in work of breathing. The patient’s triage vital signs show a slightly elevated temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate which together with oxygen readings are consistent with a likely respiratory infection; blood pressure of 115/80 is within the range considered normal. His pulmonary exam demonstrates bilateral wheezing. In the Spring of 2020, the above patient commonly presents to the emergency department (ED) where a concern for COVID-19 is at the top of the list of possible problems. Continue Reading