OBJECTIVES: To validate the modified version of the Short Emergency Geriatric Assessment (SEGAm) frailty instrument in elderly people living at home.
DESIGN: Longitudinal, prospective, multicentre study.
SETTING: Four departments (Ardennes, Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse) in two French Regions (Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine).
PARTICIPANTS: Subjects aged 65 years or more, living at home, who could read and understand French, with a degree of autonomy corresponding to groups 5, or 6 in the AGGIR autonomy evaluation scale.
MEASUREMENTS: Assessment included demographic characteristics, comprehensive geriatric assessment, and the SEGAm instrument. Psychometric validation was used to study feasibility and acceptability, internal structure validity, reliability, and discriminant validity of the SEGAm instrument.
RESULTS: Between July 1st 2012 and March 31st 2013, 167 patients were included in the study. Averaged age was 77±7 years, the majority were women (70.7%). Feasibility and acceptability of the SEGAm instrument were excellent: we observed no refusal to participate, no drop-out during administration, no missing items, no ceiling or floor effects, and the administration time was short (5.0±3.5 min). By factor analysis, the instrument proved to be unidimensional. It showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficient: 0.68) and good test-retest (intra-class correlation: 0.88) at 7 days interval. Discriminant validity showed a significant difference, mainly for nutritional status, fall risk, dependency, mood and depression risk, and comorbidities.
CONCLUSION: Based on these psychometric properties, the SEGAm appears to be an easy-to-use instrument that is particularly suitable for use in the community to identify frail elderly people who could benefit from early targeted interventions.