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Electronic Frailty Index

(16 Posts)
HarlemShuffle Sat 08-May-21 10:28:51

I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about the use and implications of this assessment tool. When I went online last week to check if some routine blood test results were back, I discovered a result for this. I haven't been able to see a GP since February last year, so this has been done without reference to me.

The result says that I am 'mildly frail'. When I looked online, this refers to people who are 'slowing up in older age and may need help with personal activities of daily living such as finances, shopping, transportation.'

When I mapped this assessment tool against the other one in common use, it got worse, referring to the 'early transition from complete independence' and 'typically mild frailty progressively impairs shopping and walking outside alone, meal preparation, medications and begins to affect light housework.'

By no stretch of the imagination is this me. I have worked very hard on my fitness over the last eighteen months and have seen the benefits. I am a normal weight for my height, walk at least five miles a day, cycle, eat at least my five a day, get at least seven hours of good quality sleep a night and, having lost my job in the middle of the pandemic, am very much less stressed than I was, although I have not yet reached pension age and am looking now for a part time job.

I am active in my community and one afternoon next week will be chucking things in a skip to clear a part of the local area that badly needs it.

I have an underactive thyroid, which is spot on and a stress-related heart condition which my surgery has always ignored. However, I have had no symptoms for eight months, thanks to the reduction in stress caused by not doing the job I lost and all in all I thought I was doing pretty well.

I have to wait two weeks to discuss this with a GP, but I am very upset. It feels like a kick in the teeth after all the work I have done to try to lay foundations for a healthy old age.

Has this happened to anyone else? What are the implications and does anyone know if I can get this removed from my record?

Many thanks

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 08-May-21 10:34:27

It’s a big leap of the imagination to get all of that info from a blood test!

As you say talk to your GP and find out the reasons and tell him how improved you are.

Well done though, it’s hard to get your good health back from being ill.

Peasblossom Sat 08-May-21 10:39:59

It’s not a kick in the teeth, it’s just a medical categorisation. Like infancy or pubescent.

As we age fragility, in medical terms, increases.
Compared to a younger age group any injury will be more severe ie a bruise will be bigger, a cut will bleed for longer and take longer to heal, food will take longer to be digested. I could go on. It’s relatively minor stuff but medically it has an impact.

Like it says, it’s early transition. You’re healthy and active and the transition will probably be a long one. But transit you will!

EllanVannin Sat 08-May-21 10:47:32

I wouldn't be taking any notice of anything electronic.
Wouldn't the same apply if you were in your 90's ?

annsixty Sat 08-May-21 10:58:26

How you feel and what you can do is what is important, not what is written on a piece of paper.
Just carry on without worrying about it, you sound fit and able.
When I went for my pre-op assessment before my hip op the nurse was so apologetic about asking me the memory questions which are carried out on people of my age.
After two questions she put the paper to one side saying that was a waste of both our time.

BlueSky Sat 08-May-21 13:22:05

I think there’s a risk, now we can access our records, that we read stuff that we wouldn’t have known and the result is worry. I’ve done that with blood tests, while the GP passed them as OK I found out by googling that some were actually borderline high or low, and being me, worried about them!

HarlemShuffle Sun 09-May-21 17:46:37

@Peasblossom, I wouldn't be so sure. My mother at 96 was living independently and still doing pretty much everything, washing, shopping etc, although she did in the last couple of years of her life, reluctantly employ a cleaner. She died three days after the first fall she had ever had.

@BlueSky, blood results need to be optimal, not just within the reference range and this is where many GPs fall down, especially when dealing with serum ferritin and thyroid disease. You may well have been right :-)

shysal Sun 09-May-21 18:02:31

Two years ago I discovered that I had been given a Frailty Index score on the day I had attended for my flu jab. No questions were asked on which to base the score which bore no relation to my abilities.
Next time |I spoke to my GP I asked for it to be amended but she said it was not possible and anyway it would not be used at all!

Elusivebutterfly Sun 09-May-21 18:07:07

I am surprised that someone under pension age could be considered frail. I thought that would be at least 65 plus, if not 70 plus.

BlueSky Sun 09-May-21 18:07:27

That’s interesting HarlemShuffle thanks! Do you know whether there’s an online (Google) Frailty test anybody can do?

M0nica Sun 09-May-21 18:15:35

Here is a link to the British Geriatrics Society paper on frailty indexes and here is a link to the Groenigen Frailty Index questionnaire they refer to

Looking at these sites and running what they measure against what you have said about yourself Harlemshuffle, the doctor's assessment seems to be a bit premature.

I would certainly query it with him. he clearly has done none of the tests of walking etc, nor has he administered the questionnaire.

BlueSky Sun 09-May-21 18:50:20

Thanks M0nica will have a look.

HarlemShuffle Mon 10-May-21 18:11:26

Interesting responses, thank you.

HarlemShuffle Thu 27-May-21 13:40:34

Finally, I have the answer. They have assessed me as mildly frail because, so they say, I had a fall in 2017 and my glaucoma is counted as a visual impairment.

The fall was simply a trip over a raised paving slab that I hadn't seen. I was cut and bruised afterwards and had a couple of weeks off work, not because I was unwell, but because you can't really sit on a reception desk when you look as though you might have been in a fight! An indication of how it affected me is that I went straight from A&E to join my DH in the pub!

Also, I don't have glaucoma.

In the last month, I have already had to complain about the attitude of the Practice Manager at this surgery and it looks as if I am going to have to pursue this as well.

BlueSky Thu 27-May-21 19:42:12

A couple of years ago my GP sent me to see a consultant in our local hospital as I was complaining of a variety of symptoms. I was shocked when I found out she was a specialist in geriatric medicine as I wasn’t even 70!

HarlemShuffle Thu 17-Jun-21 20:01:20

Result! the offending item has now been removed from my record.

I hate having to do it, but on this occasion it has been worth it.