Frailty as a Growing Challenge for Anesthesiologists

Results of a Dutch National Survey

A. Bouwhuis; C. E. van den Brom; S. A. Loer; C. S. E. Bulte


BMC Anesthesiol. 2021;21(307) 

In This Article


This study provides insight into the perspective on the aging population, familiarity with the frailty syndrome and current organization of perioperative care for elderly patients by anesthesiologists in the Netherlands. The increasing number of elderly patients is perceived as a challenge. Furthermore, the respondents unanimously agreed that the anesthesiologist should be aware of the presence of frailty and that this influences anesthetic management. Despite the widely-recognized importance of integrating frailty into perioperative care, the challenge lies in improving the organization and effectuation of perioperative care for frail elderly patients. The present study highlights the knowledge-practice gaps on frailty screening, reporting of frailty and collaboration with geriatricians. Recommendations include education on geriatric perioperative care to gain confidence in frailty assessment and consistent involvement and participation of anesthesiologists in the process of perioperative care for frail elderly. Future research should focus on the involvement of anesthesiologists in perioperative management of frail elderly on postoperative outcome; giving rise to the sub-specialization of geriatric anesthesia.