Dalhousie University


Research / Projects
Development of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Form © for Completion by Caregiver

Principle Investigators:  K Rockwood, R. Hubbard, J. Goldstein, P Moorhouse,
M Andrew, S Searle


Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)© is used in geriatric medicine to capture relevant information about the health status and function of an older person. CGA© facilitates accurate diagnosis, holistic management, and effective communication within the multi-disciplinary team. The Geriatric Medicine Research Unit has developed a single page assessment form that can be used to construct a Frailty Index© (FI-CGA). This FI-CGA© appears to be a valid indicator of the health status of an older person, in that it discriminates between levels of frailty and predicts relevant outcomes such as institutionalization and death.

Given the determining importance of frailty in relation to health care outcomes, it is desirable that care providers other than geriatricians have some means of assessing frailty.  A standardized process for collecting and aggregating information from a caregiver may be beneficial. 

Study Objectives

  1. To assess the feasibility of a CGA© form and clinical frailty scale when completed by a caregiver.
  2. To assess the validity of the caregiver completed CGA©.


This is a pilot study using with a convenience sample of patients (70 years and older) who have been either transported by ambulance to the QEII HSC or assessed by paramedics but not transported. When the paramedic identifies a study candidate they will ask the caregiver to complete the caregiver survey.  Caregivers will also be completing this survey in the Geriatric Ambulatory Care Clinic.   

Caregivers will be identified as someone who spends enough time with the patient to be knowledgeable about their health and social circumstances.  Feasibility will be assessed by evaluating the time to complete the survey and percentage of missed items.  Validity will be measured by assessing the agreement between a caregiver derived Frailty Index© and the Geriatrician completed in-hospital Frialty Index©.     

Project Status

Ethics approval was granted in November 2008. Patient enrolment began in February 2009. 



Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine