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The assessment of sarcopenia and the frailty phenotype in the outpatient care of older people: implementation and typical values obtained from the Newcastle SarcScreen project

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard DoddsORCiD, Dr Karen Davies, Dr Jane Noble, Dr Fiona Shaw, Professor Miles WithamORCiD, Professor Avan SayerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s). Purpose: Sarcopenia and the frailty phenotype both indicate older adults at risk of adverse health outcomes and yet are not widely assessed in practice. We developed the Newcastle SarcScreen to enable assessment of these two ageing syndromes during clinical care. In the setting of our Older People’s Medicine Day Unit, our aims were to describe the implementation of the SarcScreen and to examine the typical values obtained. Methods: The SarcScreen comprised height, weight, questions (three on the Fried frailty phenotype and five on the SARC-F questionnaire), grip strength and gait speed. We analysed data from 552 patients completing the SarcScreen. We expressed grip strength as Z-scores (number of standard deviations above the mean expected for a patient’s age and sex). Results: It was possible to implement the SarcScreen. In 552 patients (65.9% females) with mean age 80.1 (7.7) years, grip strength was feasible in 98.2% and gait speed in 82.1%. Gait speed was typically not assessed due to mobility impairment. Most patients had weak grip strength (present in 83.8%), slow gait speed (88.8%) and the frailty phenotype (66.2%). We found a high prevalence of probable sarcopenia and the frailty phenotype across all age groups studied. This was reflected by low grip strength Z-scores, especially at younger ages: those aged 60–69 had grip strength 2.7 standard deviations (95% CI 2.5–2.9) below that expected. Conclusion: It is possible to implement an assessment of sarcopenia and the frailty phenotype as part of the routine outpatient care of older people.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dodds RM, Heslop P, Jaffar J, Davies K, Noble JM, Shaw FE, Witham MD, Sayer AA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Geriatric Medicine

Year: 2022

Volume: 13

Pages: 763-769

Print publication date: 01/08/2022

Online publication date: 09/04/2022

Acceptance date: 23/03/2022

Date deposited: 28/03/2022

ISSN (print): 1878-7649

ISSN (electronic): 1878-7657

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1007/s41999-022-00641-5

PubMed id: 35404041


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre