Widespread use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to screen for prostate cancer began in the early 1990s. Advocates for screening assert that this has caused a decrease in prostate cancer mortality. The researchers sought to describe secular changes in prostate cancer incidence and mortality in Canada in relation to the onset of PSA screening.

Women may also particularly benefit from seeking health information from the Internet, because they are more likely than men to be living with chronic disease. Gender differences in Internet use18 include women utilizing social networking sites more often than men, and women having higher quality perceptions of eHealth searching and information dissemination compared with men. We maintain that women are not only more likely to conduct e-health information searches than their male counterparts but also more interested in health-related issues overall.

The objective of this study was to analyse how hospitalisation after the age of 60 affected individuals' health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The main hypothesis was that a hospital admission in old age can be seen as a proxy of ill health and possibly as a health divider, separating life into a healthy and an unhealthy part. The extent to which this is true depends on which disease individuals face and how functional ability and HRQoL are affected.

The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism developed these guidelines with special considerations of older adults.  The authors point out that studies have shown an inverse relationship between nutritional status and complication rates, length of stay in hospital, etc.  Nutrition should be an integral part of an older adults overall care plan.  6 pages.  Last reviewed January 2017.

This Canadian study validates cut-points for a frailty index (FI) to identify seniors at risk of a hospital-related event.  Information about the prevalence of frailty among Canada's community-dwelling seniors is important for policy development and health resources planning.  10 pages. Last reviewed January 2017.

Frailty is a state of vulnerability associated with increased risks of fall, hospitalization, cognitive deficits, and psychological distress. Studies with healthy seniors suggest that physical exercise can help improve cognition and quality of life. The results of this study showed that the benefits of exercise training, 3 times per week for a 12 week period were equivalent between frail and non-frail participants.

This blog is created and maintained by a group of Canadian researchers and clinicians brought together by an interdisciplinary fellowship training program with the Canadian Frailty Network. The aim of the blog is to provide helpful information and highlight resources.

As Canada’s population ages, frailty – with its increased risk of functional decline, deterioration in health status, and death – will become increasingly common. The physiology of frailty reflects its multisystem, multi-organ origins. About a quarter of Canadians over age 65 are frail, increasing to over half in those older than 85. Our health care system is organized around single-organ systems, impairing our ability to effectively treat people having multiple disorders and functional limitations. To address frailty, we must recognize when it occurs, increase awareness of its signifi cance, develop holistic models of care, and generate better evidence for its treatment. Recognizing how frailty impacts lifespan will allow for integration of care goals into treatment options. Different settings in the Canadian health care system will require different strategies and tools to assess frailty. Given the magnitude of challenges frailty poses for the health care system as currently organized, policy changes will be essential.  17 pages.  Last reviewed January 2017.

The authors explore the role of the informal caregiver (often a family member) who is often at odds with how clinicians and teams approach "patient-centered care".  They argue that as the prevalence of frailty continues to increase, we need to embrace new approaches that widen the circle of care to include the caregiver more prominenty in the provision of information and a more nuanced approach to shared decision-making.  3 pages.  Last reviewed January 2017.

This research paper commissioned by the Law Commission of Ontario describes the work in gathering evidence regarding the needs and wishes of patients, caregivers and stakeholders about care at the end of life in their own words.  111 pages.  Last reviewed January 4, 2017.