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Long-Term Functional Decline Following Vascular Surgery Among Vulnerable Adults.

DeAngelo MM, Peacock JB, Holeman TA, Maloney M, Beckstrom J, Brooke BS. Long-Term Functional Decline Following Vascular Surgery Among Vulnerable Adults. Annals of vascular surgery. 2021 Oct 1; 76:87-94.

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BACKGROUND: Identification of high-risk patients that may experience functional decline following surgery poses a challenge to healthcare providers. The Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) is a patient-reported tool designed to identify risk for health deterioration based on age, self-rated health, physical function, and functional disabilities. This study was designed to determine whether VES-13 could predict long-term functional decline among patients undergoing vascular surgery procedures. METHODS: Vascular surgery patients at an academic hospital were administered VES-13 between May 2018 and March 2019, and those scoring 3-points were classified as vulnerable. Each patient's functional status was assessed using the Katz Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and the Lawton-Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (iADL) indices preoperatively and at 2-week, 1-month, and 1-year postoperative time points. Logistic regression models were used to identify independent predictors of functional decline. RESULTS: 126 patients (59% male) were assessed before and after minor (56%) and major (44%) vascular procedures, with 55 (43%) meeting criteria for vulnerability. Vulnerable patients were older, had lower baseline functional status, and were more likely than non-vulnerable patients to experience declines in ADLs and iADLs at all time-points (P < 0.05 for all time points). These findings were confirmed in risk-adjusted regression models where vulnerability was associated with an increased likelihood of decline in ADLs (OR:3.3; 95%CI:1.0-10.6; P < 0.05) and iADLs (OR:2.6; 95%CI:1.0-6.6; P = 0.05) at 1-year following surgery. CONCLUSION: The patient-reported VES-13 survey identifies vulnerable patients who are at risk for long-term functional decline following vascular surgery. This quick preoperative screening tool can allow surgeons to prepare older patients and caretakers for postoperative functional limitations.

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