Preoperative frailty is strongly associated with risks of postoperative delirium. However, gaps exist in targeted recommendations for clinical decision making related to surgical interventions in frail older patients. A case study is presented involving a frail 74-year-old referred to the palliative care team for assistance with clinical decision making and in weighing risks and benefits of a surgical intervention. A literature review on the quantification of postoperative delirium risk and how this information might inform medical decision making in frail surgical patients did not identify clear clinical guidelines. In the absence of practice guidelines, the Patient Priorities Care model is proposed as a framework to help providers working with patients and caregivers facing complex medical decisions to better align interventions with patient values.
- Clinical decision making
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