Oncology health care providers (HCPs) lack awareness of tools used to assess frailty in patients with cancer, according to survey results published in The Oncologist.

Results of the international survey suggest that many oncology HCPs do not use and are not aware of certain tools designed to assess frailty. 

The survey was completed by 737 HCPs from 91 countries. Respondents were primarily physicians (81%), followed by nurses (13%) and other HCPs (5%). 

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The HCPs practiced in Europe (48%), Asia (22%), the Americas (19%), Africa (7%), and Oceania (4%).

Roughly half of HCPs (52%) said they evaluated frailty in all or most patients. Seventy percent of respondents said they assessed frailty at baseline and before starting patients on a new treatment, while 28% of respondents assessed frailty at baseline only. 

Some respondents said they were not aware of certain tools used to assess frailty. Forty-three percent of respondents were only aware of the Karnofsky and ECOG performance status scores, 42% were aware of age/frailty/condition (AFC) screening, and 14% were aware of chemotoxicity tools.

Still, 73% of respondents reported using some of these tools, with 57% saying they assessed performance status, 32% using AFC screening, and 8% using chemotoxicity scores.

Use of tools differed across geographic areas. When compared with HCPs in Europe and the Americas, HCPs in Asia and other areas reported greater use of performance status scores (68% vs 52%) but lower use of AFC (23% vs 37%) and chemotoxicity screening (7% vs 9%). Digital app use was similar between the groups (24% vs 29%).

Lack of awareness was the primary reason HCPs did not use certain tools for frailty assessment (70%). However, HCPs also cited time constraints (28%) and feeling that the tools were not beneficial (2%).

“There is still a lack of awareness and use of frailty screening tools among selected oncology HCPs,” the researchers concluded. “Specific initiatives aiming at raising awareness and using frailty assessment for patients with cancer are needed.”

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Banna GL, Cantale O, Haydock MM, et al. International survey on frailty assessment in patients with cancer. Oncologist. Published online July 29, 2022. doi:10.1093/oncolo/oyac133