Background: Early identification of older cardiac patients at high risk of readmission or mortality facilitates targeted deployment of preventive interventions. In the Netherlands, the frailty tool of the Dutch Safety Management System (DSMS-tool) consists of (the risk of) delirium, falling, functional impairment, and malnutrition and is currently used in all older hospitalised patients. However, its predictive performance in older cardiac patients is unknown.
Aim: To estimate the performance of the DSMS-tool alone and combined with other predictors in predicting hospital readmission or mortality within 6 months in acutely hospitalised older cardiac patients.
Methods: An individual patient data meta-analysis was performed on 529 acutely hospitalised cardiac patients ≥70 years from four prospective cohorts. Missing values for predictor and outcome variables were multiply imputed. We explored discrimination and calibration of: (1) the DSMS-tool alone; (2) the four components of the DSMS-tool and adding easily obtainable clinical predictors; (3) the four components of the DSMS-tool and more difficult to obtain predictors. Predictors in model 2 and 3 were selected using backward selection using a threshold of p = 0.157. We used shrunk c-statistics, calibration plots, regression slopes and Hosmer-Lemeshow p-values (PHL) to describe predictive performance in terms of discrimination and calibration.
Results: The population mean age was 82 years, 52% were males and 51% were admitted for heart failure. DSMS-tool was positive in 45% for delirium, 41% for falling, 37% for functional impairments and 29% for malnutrition. The incidence of hospital readmission or mortality gradually increased from 37 to 60% with increasing DSMS scores. Overall, the DSMS-tool discriminated limited (c-statistic 0.61, 95% 0.56-0.66). The final model included the DSMS-tool, diagnosis at admission and Charlson Comorbidity Index and had a c-statistic of 0.69 (95% 0.63-0.73; PHL was 0.658).
Discussion: The DSMS-tool alone has limited capacity to accurately estimate the risk of readmission or mortality in hospitalised older cardiac patients. Adding disease-specific risk factor information to the DSMS-tool resulted in a moderately performing model. To optimise the early identification of older hospitalised cardiac patients at high risk, the combination of geriatric and disease-specific predictors should be further explored.