A manual of guidelines to score the modified Cumulative Illness Rating Scale and its validation in acute hospitalized elderly patients

Fabio Salvi, Mark D. Miller, Annalisa Grilli, Raffaella Giorgi, Adele L. Towers, Valeria Morichi, Liana Spazzafumo, Lucia Mancinelli, Emma Espinosa, Alessandro Rappelli, Paolo Dessì-Fulgheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: To update previous guidelines to score the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) and test their usefulness in hospitalized elderly patients. DESIGN: The CIRS was scored retrospectively in a cohort of elderly patients followed for 18 months. SETTING: An acute internal medicine ward in an academic tertiary care hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred eighty-seven patients aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: The CIRS was retrospectively scored for the enrolled patients. Intrarater and interrater reliability were calculated. Two illness severity indices (total score (TSC) and severity (SV)) and one comorbidity index (CM) were obtained. Clinical features and comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) variables were also used. All patients underwent an 18-month follow-up for mortality and rehospitalization. RESULTS: Intrarater and interrater reliability of the CIRS scored following the guidelines was good (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.83 and 0.81, respectively). The TSC, SV, and CM correlated with clinical features (laboratory values, medication usage, and length of in-hospital stay) and CGA variables (cognitive impairment, depression and disability). All three indices were able to predict 18-month mortality and rehospitalization rates. CONCLUSION: This study confirmed the validity of the CIRS as an indicator of health status and demonstrated its ability to predict 18-month mortality and rehospitalization in hospitalized elderly patients. The availability of detailed guidelines for scoring the CIRS can improve its usefulness and facilitate more-widespread use for research and clinical aims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1926-1931
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008



  • CIRS
  • Comorbidity
  • Guidelines
  • Illness severity
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Salvi, F., Miller, M. D., Grilli, A., Giorgi, R., Towers, A. L., Morichi, V., Spazzafumo, L., Mancinelli, L., Espinosa, E., Rappelli, A., & Dessì-Fulgheri, P. (2008). A manual of guidelines to score the modified Cumulative Illness Rating Scale and its validation in acute hospitalized elderly patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 56(10), 1926-1931. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01935.x