D McStay, I Aurangzeb, C Harrison, D Bertfield


  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Medicine

Abstract Introduction The British Geriatrics Society and NHS England recommend that patients aged 65 and over should be screened for frailty when presenting to healthcare services to facilitate early comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA). Recognition of frailty frequently relies on assessment by FY1s. We sought to assess a) how confident FY1s are in recognising and managing frailty, b) their understanding of CGA, and c) how these change during the year. Methods Questionnaires (quantitative and qualitative data) were given to FY1s at induction, 6 months, and 12 months. Teaching sessions on frailty and CGA were delivered. We collated feedback on how frailty recognition and CGA knowledge had altered their assessment of older people. Results All FY1 Doctors completed the survey at induction. The 6 months and 12 months surveys were emailed to FY1s. The survey response rate was 100% (31/31), 68% (21/31) and 58% (18/31), respectively. At induction, 23% (7/31) reported they were “quite” or “very” confident in assessing for frailty. This increased to 71% at 6 months and 100% at 12 months. Fifty-two per cent (16/31) of FY1 Doctors were aware of a tool to assess for frailty at baseline, increasing to 100% (18/18) at 12 months. Knowledge of CGA improved less, from 48% (15/31) at baseline to 83% (15/18) at 12 months. There was no association between speciality experience and confidence levels. Feedback from FY1 doctors indicated that frailty recognition allowed identification of patients who may benefit from advanced care planning discussions and triggered early therapy input. Conclusions Despite BGS and NHS England recommendations, at induction, FY1s lack confidence in frailty recognition and assessment. Through experiential learning and targeted teaching this improved, not limited to those in geriatric medicine. We recommend final year medical students need increased frailty and CGA specific education to improve their confidence when assessing frail older patients.

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