Sarcopenia is a progressive loss of muscle function and mass that is mostly related to aging . Due to sarcopenia’s adverse outcomes in several conditions, diagnosis and integration into treatment plans is highly recommended . In the care of older adults, cognitive impairment, functional decline, or acute life-threatening medical conditions, such as severe pneumonia, myocardial infarctions, or highly proliferative hematological conditions can preclude patients from self-reported assessment. In addition, a severe acute condition can lead to a massive functional decline within a short time-frame. Thus, physical resilience can be underestimated if a superior premorbid condition is not known to the treating physician. To overcome these barriers, the authors aimed to validate the SARC-F questionnaire, a broadly used screening questionnaire for severe sarcopenia-related functional impairments , for the use of proxy-reported information of the patients’ current and premorbid status.
In this validation trial , 104 patients from a rheumatology/hematology outpatient service and a geriatric in-patient rehabilitation as well as their 135 proxies (partners, children, siblings, etc.) participated. Patients performed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) on day 0 and answered the SARC-F questionnaire. Proxies were divided into two groups: Proxies in group A answered the SARC-F questionnaire with regard to the patient twice, once on day 0, and secondly after 3 months. At this point in time, proxies were asked to answer the SARC-F retrospectively recalling the functional status of day 0. Proxies in group B answered the SARC-F only once after three months, recalling the functional status of day 0.