Role of Frailty Status in Prediction of Clinical Outcomes of Traumatic Spinal Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Faramarz Rohollahi, Farzin Farahbakhsh, Samuel Berchi Kankam, Mohammad Mohammadi, Aynaz Mohammadi, Rojin Korkorian, Sepehr Hobabi, Azin Moarrefdezfouli, Shervin Molavi, Benjamin M. Davies, Carl M. Zipser, Ilya Laufer, James Harrop, Paul M. Arnold, Allan R. Martin, Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although many frailty tools have been used to predict traumatic spinal injury (TSI) outcomes, identifying predictors of outcomes after TSI in the aged population is difficult. Frailty, age, and TSI association are interesting topics of discussion in geriatric literature. However, the association between these variables are yet to be clearly elucidated. We conducted a systematic review to investigate the association between frailty and TSI outcomes. The authors searched Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science for relevant studies. Studies with observational designs that assessed baseline frailty status in individuals suffering from TSI published from inception until 26th March 2023 were included. Length of hospital stay (LoS), adverse events (AEs), and mortality were the outcomes of interest. Of the 2425 citations, 16 studies involving 37,640 participants were included. The modified frailty index (mFI) was the most common tool used to assess frailty. Meta-analysis was employed only in studies that used mFI for measuring frailty. Frailty was significantly associated with increased in-hospital or 30-day mortality (pooled odds ratio [OR]: 1.93 [1.19; 3.11]), non-routine discharge (pooled OR: 2.44 [1.34; 4.44]), and AEs or complications (pooled OR: 2.00 [1.14; 3.50]). However, no significant relationship was found between frailty and LoS (pooled OR: 3.02 [0.86; 10.60]). Heterogeneity was observed across multiple factors, including age, injury level, frailty assessment tool, and spinal cord injury characteristics. In conclusion, although there is limited data concerning using frailty scales to predict short-term outcomes after TSI, the results showed that frailty status may be a predictor of in-hospital mortality, AEs, and unfavorable discharge destination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2453-2468
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number23-24
StatePublished - Dec 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • frailty
  • outcome
  • spinal cord injury
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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