Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Centre, General Hospital Groeninge, Kortrijk, Belgium; Positive Ageing Research Institute, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : A comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is the key treatment approach to guide decisions in older patients with cancer. In this paper, the added value of an assessment of the patient's hand grip strength to predict survival in patients with an abnormal G8-questionnaire (G8) score is investigated. METHODS : Patients were screened by the G8, followed by a CGA in case of an abnormal screening (≤14.0). Hand grip strength was assessed by use of the JAMAR® hydraulic hand dynamometer. Cut-offs were applied according to the Fried frailty criteria. The survival rate was calculated twelve months after the CGA date. RESULTS : We retrospectively reviewed data of 2071 patients who were treated at the Kortrijk Geriatric Oncology Clinic (General Hospital Groeninge, Belgium) between November 2012 and December 2016. Of those, 944 patients with a mean age of 79.6 years were included in the analyses. 64.2% of patients presented an abnormal hand grip strength score. A log rank test revealed a statistical significant result between patients when accounting for the hand grip strength score (p < .01). When added to a Cox regression model, a significant result was found (p < .01). However, this added only 0.4% to the explained variance of the model. CONCLUSIONS : While a statistically significant result was detected, when adding the hand grip strength score to a regression model for survival, our data indicate that such assessment may clinically be less relevant when included in an already extensive test battery and may therefore provide only limited information in terms of patient survival.