Outcomes in adults living with frailty receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Joseph Hamlyn, Charlotte Lowry, Thomas A. Jackson, Carly Welch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: Frailty is a clinical expression of adverse ageing which could be a valuable predictor of outcomes from cardiac arrest. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate survival outcomes in adults living with frailty versus adults living without frailty receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) following cardiac arrest. Methods: A comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases was performed using pre-defined search terms, with no date or language restrictions applied. Prospective and retrospective observational studies measuring outcomes from CPR in adults assessed for frailty using an accepted clinical definition were selected. Results: Eight eligible studies were included. Seven retrospective observational studies presenting high methodological quality were included in a meta-analysis comprising 1704 participants. Frailty was strongly associated with an increased likelihood of mortality after CPR, with moderate inter-study heterogeneity (OR = 3.56, 95% CI = 2.74–4.63, I2 = 71%). Discussion: This review supports the consideration of frailty status in a holistic approach to CPR. The present findings suggest that frailty status provides valuable prognostic information and could complement other known pre-arrest prognostic factors such as comorbidities in the context of Do Not Attempt CPR consideration. Awareness of the poorer outcomes in those living with frailty could support the identification of individuals less likely to benefit from CPR. Validation of our findings and evaluation of quality-of-life in frail individuals surviving cardiac arrest are prerequisites for the future integration of frailty status into CPR clinical decision-making. Registration: Prospectively registered on PROSPERO: CRD42020223670.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100266
JournalResuscitation Plus
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No additional acknowledgements.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Advance Care Planning
  • CFS
  • CPR
  • Futility
  • Mortality
  • Rockwood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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