Swiss Frailty Network and Repository (SFNR)

Project consortium: Prof. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari (University Hospital Zurich), Prof. Andreas Stuck (University Hospital Bern), Prof. Reto Kressig (Felix-Platter, Basel University Medicine of Aging), Prof. Christoph Büla (University Hospital Lausanne), Prof. Gabriel Gold and Prof. Dina Zekry (University Hospital Geneva).

Additional contributors: BioMedIT Node sciCORE, Basel (Head Dr. Thierry Sengstag).

A full list of al contributors and contacts is available upon request to the managing team.

Main achievements

  1. First nationwide research collaboration between all geriatric University Chairs in Switzerland plus collaboration with all University Hospitals IT Teams in Switzerland as a nationwide driver project by the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), and connecting to the BioMedIT node network of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) developing an IT-infrastructure for personalized health in older age (Deliverables: Collaborative Research Agreement, Data Transfer and Use Agreement, Data Transfer and Processing Agreement)
  2. Establishment of a Swiss Geriatric Chairs consensus on how to assess frailty clinically by a research reference standard tool, named clinical Frailty Instrument (cFI) (Deliverable: Standard Operating Procedures for cFI available in French and German, description of the operationalization in the published study protocol by Gagesch M et al, BMJOpen, 2021)
  3. Development of an electronic Frailty-Index (eFI) as a frailty screening tool built from regularly collected patient data extracted from the Clinical Information System (CIS) of the 5 University Hospitals, and applicable to all patients age 65+. (Deliverable: eFI-Codebook, available upon request)
  4. Aggregated dataset of all securely transferred cFI and eFI data on BioMedIT node SciCORE Basel in a research ready format (Deliverable: Secure SFNR tenant in the BioMedIT environment)

Reusable datasets and infrastructures

SFNR clinical Frailty Instrument (cFI) dataset

The cFI dataset contains information on 1479 participants enrolled at the 5 partner sites during the field study in 2020-2021. Variables include information on involuntary weight loss, grip strength, gait speed, fatigue and activity level of the enrolled participants in a structured way.

Available resources

The cFI dataset is securely stored at the project space at sciCORE BioMedIT node Basel. Access can be granted for external investigators via the Centre on Aging and Mobility, upon justified request to the Principal Investigator, Prof. H.A. Bischoff-Ferrari.

SFNR electronic Frailty Index Screening Tool (eFI) dataset

The SFNR eFI is a screening tool aggregating 55 variables from routinely collected electronic health records out of the UH CDWs to identify patients age 65 and older with an increased risk for negative health outcomes (i.e. longer length of stay in the hospital, increases mortality, discharge to nursing home). Variables sent from all participating partner sites have been aggregated to a unified dataset at BioMedIT node scioCORE Basel.

Available resources

Access can be granted via the Centre on Aging and Mobility upon justified request to the SFNR Principal Investigator Prof. Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari 

Data dictionaries

All data used for the electronic Frailty Index (eFI) are represented in RDF in the primary datasets.

Standards such as ATC, ICD10, GTIN have been applied. Most of the “activities of daily living (ADL)” are coded in NANDA (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association), concept Coded Nursing Diagnosis.

Standards such as GDS-4/15 (Geriatric Depression Scale), DOS (Delirium Observation Scale), MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination), NRS (numeric rating scale), VAS (visual analog scale), VRS (verbal rating scale) are represented as “Simple Score” and labeled accordingly.

Please note that LOINC codes are not defined in the project and their availability is dependent on the data provider. The representation of laboratory results is also in RDF, following the concept “Lab Results” from SPHN.

Follow up projects – continuation – next steps

  • Data cleaning, analysis and interpretation is currently still ongoing;
  • The project partners are in the preparation of an amendment of the SFNR for the investigation of frailty as a risk factor in older adult patients in acute care with COVID-19;
  • Definition of Governance for Data Access;
  • Long Term if promising analysis: Integration of the risk score in CIS'.

Further links and references

References on Pubmed

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