Frailty and COVID-19: A Systematic Scoping Review

Giuseppe Maltese, Andrea Corsonello, Mirko Di Rosa, Luca Soraci, Cristiana Vitale, Francesco Corica, Fabrizia Lattanzio

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Older people have paid a huge toll in terms of mortality during the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Frailty may have contributed to the vulnerability of older people to more severe clinical presentation. We aimed at reviewing available evidence about frailty and COVID-19. We searched PUBMED, Web of Science, and EMBASE from 1 December 2019 to 29 May 2020. Study selection and data extraction were performed by three independent reviewers. Qualitative synthesis was conducted and quantitative data extracted when available. Forty papers were included: 13 editorials, 15 recommendations/guidelines, 3 reviews, 1 clinical trial, 6 observational studies, 2 case reports. Editorials and reviews underlined the potential clinical relevance of assessing frailty among older patients with COVID-19. However, frailty was only investigated in regards to its association with overall mortality, hospital contagion, intensive care unit admission rates, and disease phenotypes in the few observational studies retrieved. Specific interventions in relation to frailty or its impact on COVID-19 treatments have not been evaluated yet. Even with such limited evidence, clinical recommendations on the use of frailty tools have been proposed to support decision making about escalation plan. Ongoing initiatives are expected to improve knowledge of COVID-19 interaction with frailty and to promote patient-centered approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2106
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date4 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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