There are currently no validated globally and freely available tools to estimate the modified frailty index (mFI). The widely available and non-proprietary International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) coding could be used as a surrogate for the mFI. We aimed to establish an appropriate set of the ICD-10 codes for comorbidities to be used to estimate the eleven-variable mFI.
A three-stage, web-based, Delphi consensus-building process among a panel of intensivists and geriatricians using iterative rounds of an online survey, was conducted between March and July 2021. The consensus was set a priori at 75% overall agreement. Additionally, we assessed if survey responses differed between intensivists and geriatricians. Finally, we ascertained the level of agreement.
A total of 21 clinicians participated in all 3 Delphi surveys. Most (86%, 18/21) had more than 5-years’ experience as specialists. The agreement proportionately increased with every Delphi survey. After the third survey, the panel had reached 75% consensus in 87.5% (112/128) of ICD-10 codes. The initially included 128 ICD-10 variables were narrowed down to 54 at the end of the 3 surveys. The inter-rater agreements between intensivists and geriatricians were moderate for surveys 1 and 3 (κ = 0.728, κ = 0.780) respectively, and strong for survey 2 (κ = 0.811).
This quantitative Delphi survey of a panel of experienced intensivists and geriatricians achieved consensus for appropriate ICD-10 codes to estimate the mFI. Future studies should focus on validating the mFI estimated from these ICD-10 codes.