Publications by authors named "Antonina Garm"

2 Publications

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A Computerized Frailty Assessment Tool at Points-of-Care: Development of a Standalone Electronic Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment/Frailty Index (eFI-CGA).

Front Public Health 2020 31;8:89. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Health Sciences and Innovation, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Surrey, BC, Canada.

Frailty is characterized by loss of biological reserves and is associated with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes. Frailty can be operationalized using a Frailty Index (FI) based on the accumulation of health deficits; items under health evaluation in the well-established Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) have been used to generate an FI-CGA. Traditionally, constructing the FI-CGA has relied on paper-based recording and manual data processing. As this can be time-consuming and error-prone, it limits widespread uptake of this proven type of frailty assessment. Here, we report the development of an electronic tool, the eFI-CGA, for use on personal computers by frontline healthcare providers, to collect CGA data and automate FI-CFA calculation. The ultimate goal is to support early identification and management of frailty at points-of-care, and make uptake in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) feasible and transparent. An electronic CGA (eCGA) form was implemented to operate on Microsoft's WinForms platform and coded using C# programming language. Users complete the eCGA form, from which items under the CGA evaluation are automatically retrieved and processed to output an eFI-CGA score. A user-friendly interface and secured data saving methods were implemented. The software was debugged and tested using systematically designed simulation data, addressing different logic, syntax, and application errors, and then tested with clinical assessment. The user manual and manual scoring were used as ground truth to compare eFI-CGA input and automated eFI score calculations. Frontline health-provider user feedback was incorporated to improve the end-user experience. The Standalone eFI-CGA software tool was developed and optimized for use on personal computers. The user interface adapted the design of paper-based CGA form to facilitate familiarity for clinical users. Compared to known scores, the software tool generated eFI-CGA scores with 100% accuracy to four decimal places. The eFI-CGA allowed secure data storage and retrieval of multiple types, including user input, completed eCGA form, coded items, and calculated eFI-CGA scores. It also permitted recording of actions requiring clinical follow-up, facilitating care planning. Application bugs were identified and resolved at various stages of the implementation, resulting in efficient system performance. Accurate, robust, and reliable computerized frailty assessments are needed to promote effective frailty assessment and management, as a key tool in health care systems facing up to frailty. Our research has enabled the delivery of the standalone eFI-CGA software technology to empower effective frailty assessment and management by various healthcare providers at points-of-care, facilitating integrated care of older adults.
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March 2020

Reversing Frailty Levels in Primary Care Using the CARES Model.

Can Geriatr J 2017 Sep 28;20(3):105-111. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, NS.

Background: The purpose of this manuscript was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES) model in measuring and mitigating frailty among community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: The CARES model is based on a goal-oriented multidisciplinary primary care plan which combines a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) with health coaching. A total of 51 older adults (82 ± 7 years; 33 females) participated in the pilot phase of this initiative. Frailty was measured using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) and the Frailty Index (FI-CGA) at baseline and at six-month follow-up.

Results: The FI-CGA at follow-up (0.21 ± 0.08) was significantly lower than the FI-CGA at baseline (0.24 ± 0.08), suggesting an average reduction of 1.8 deficits. Sixty-one per cent of participants improved their FI-CGA and 38% improved CFS categories. Participants classified as vulnerable/frail at baseline were more responsive to the intervention compared to non-frail participants.

Conclusion: Pilot data showed that it is feasible to assess frailty in primary care and that the CARES intervention might have a positive effect on frailty, a promising finding that requires further investigations. General practitioners who participate in the CARES model can now access their patients' FI-CGA scores at point of service through their electronic medical records.
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September 2017