Frailty for Perioperative Clinicians: A Narrative Review

Daniel I. McIsaac, MD, MPH, FRCPC; David B. MacDonald, MD, FRCPC; Sylvie D. Aucoin, MD, MSc, FRCPC


Anesth Analg. 2020;130(6):1450-1460. 

In This Article


Frailty is a multidimensional syndrome that is prevalent among older surgical patients, is strongly associated with adverse outcomes, can be feasibly assessed and identified before surgery, and represents a potentially modifiable risk factor. Perioperative clinicians should consider routine frailty assessment using accurate and feasible instruments, while also considering the underlying contributors to frailty to identify specific targets for optimization. Future research will be needed to further refine interventions for preoperative optimization, while also addressing knowledge gaps related to intra- and postoperative care.