Unifying Concepts

Edmonton Frail Scale (EFS)

The Edmonton Frail Scale (EFS) is an index used to measure alterations related to frailty. The EFS assesses nine subscales (1) cognition; (2) general health status; (3) functional independence; (4) social support; (5) medication use; (6) nutrition; (7) mood; (8) continence; and (9) functional performance (in 11 items).

Edmonton Frail Scale (EFS)
Scoring: The EFS score ranges from zero to 17 points. Severe Frailty is defined as a score of 12-17 possible points; apparent vulnerability is a score of 6-11 points; and non-frail is a score of 5 or less points.

Frailty Criterion Definition 0 point 1 point 2 points
Cognition Clock Drawing Test: place numbers the correct positions on a pre-drawn circle, and place hands to indicate the time of ‘ten after eleven’ no errors minor spacing errors other errors
General Health Status In the past year, how many times have you been admitted to a hospital? 0 1-2 >2
In general, how would you describe your health? Excellent, Very Good, or Good Fair Poor
With how many of the following activities do you require help? (meal preparation, shopping, transportation, telephone, housekeeping, laundry, managing money, taking medications) 0-1 2-4 5-8
Social Support When you need help, can you count on someone who is willing and able to meet your needs? Always Sometimes Never
Medication Use Do you use five or more different prescription medications on a regular basis? No Yes
At times, do you forget to take your prescription medications? No Yes
Nutrition Have you recently lost weight such that your clothing has become looser? No Yes
Mood Do you often feel sad or depressed? No Yes
Continence Do you have a problem with losing control of urine when you don’t want to? No Yes
Function Performance
(balance and mobility)
Timed Up and Go test: “sit in this chair with your back and arms resting. Then, when I say ‘GO’, please stand up and walk at a safe and comfortable pace to the mark on the floor (approximately 3m away), return to the chair and sit down completed in 0-10 seconds completed in 11-20 seconds completed in >20 seconds, or if the person is not willing or if they require assistance.



  1. Rolfson DB, Majumdar SR, Tsuyuki RT, Tahir A, Rockwood K. Validity and reliability of the Edmonton frail scale. Age Ageing. 2006; 35(5): 526-9. [Medline]
  2. Perna S, Francis MD, Bologna C, et al. Performance of Edmonton Frail Scale on frailty assessment: its association with multidimensional geriatric conditions assessed with specific screening tools. BMC Geriatrics. 2017; 17(1): 2. [Medline]


Created Jun 15, 2023.

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