Frailty Levels In Geriatric Hospital paTients (FLIGHT)-the prevalence of frailty among geriatric populations within hospital ward settings: a systematic review protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Paul Doody
  • Justin Aunger
  • Evans Asamane

External organisations

  • University of Stirling


Introduction: Frailty is a common and clinically significant condition in geriatric populations, associated with adverse health outcomes such as hospitalisation, disability and mortality. Although there are systematic reviews/meta-analyses assessing the prevalence of frailty in community-dwelling older adults, nursing home residents, and cancer and general surgery patients, there are none assessing the overall prevalence of frailty in geriatric hospital inpatients.

Methods and analysis:This review will systematically search and analyse the prevalence of frailty within geriatric hospital inpatients within the literature. A search will be employed on the platforms of Ovid, Web of Science and databases of Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Plus, SCOPUS and the Cochrane Library. Any observational or experimental study design which utilises a validated operational definition of frailty, reports the prevalence of frailty, has a minimum age ≥65 years, attempts to assess the whole ward/clinical population and occurs in hospital inpatients, will be included. Title and abstract and full-text screenings will be conducted by three reviewers. Methodological quality of eligible studies will be assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tool. Data extraction will be performed by two reviewers. If sufficient data are available, a meta-analysis synthesising pooled estimates of the prevalence of frailty and pre-frailty, as well as the prevalence of frailty stratified by age, sex, operational frailty definition, prevalent morbidities, ward type and location, among older hospitalised inpatients will be conducted. Clinical heterogeneity will be assessed by two reviewers. Statistical heterogeneity will be assessed through a Cochran Q test, and an I2 test performed to assess its magnitude.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval was not required as primary data will not be collected. Findings will be disseminated through publication in peer reviewed open access scientific journals, public engagement events, conference presentations and social media.

PROSPERO registration number: 79202.

Bibliographic note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere030147
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2019

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