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Centre of Research Excellence

Improving Hospital Outcomes for Frail Patients Across Different Disciplines

Frail patients are often harmed in hospitals, and Australia’s tertiary care system is ill-equipped to cater for the increasing number of middle-aged and older adults with multiple co-morbidities and complex health problems.


The “Improving Hospital Outcomes for Frail Patients Across Different Disciplines Centre of Research Excellence” (Frailty-ADD CRE) is a five-year, multidisciplinary program that systematically addresses key barriers to frailty-informed care for hospital patients.


This program of research works to improve hospital outcomes for frail patients by helping healthcare systems understand the impact of frailty on outcomes and costs, developing clinical practice guidelines for frailty informed care across multiple disciplines, developing a core outcome set for frail patients, and upskilling the next generation of researchers and clinicians to continue the legacy of this Centre of Research Excellence.

Six programs of work

The Frailty-ADD CRE includes six programs of research.

Program 1

It is the first research project in the world to evaluate frailty in hospitals at scale — quantifying the prevalence of frailty and establishing frailty-related outcomes and frailty-related costs

Program 2

The Frailty-ADD CRE is investigating the relationship between frailty, medication utilisation, and global health outcomes

Program 3

It is also developing a core outcome set of patient-important outcomes that can be used for all frailty research in any discipline

Program 4

This new knowledge will be transferred to policy and practice by championing practice change initiatives

Program 5

Piloting implementation studies across different disciplines

Program 6

Providing frailty education and training for healthcare professionals and students

The Frailty-ADD CRE is establishing a cutting-edge capacity building scaffold to train the next generation of health and medical researchers with the potential to become leaders in their fields.


These six interrelated programs and structured capacity building have the potential to transform the care of frail patients in Australian hospitals.

Study team and funding

This study is funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2022 Cebtre for Research Excellence grant scheme (APP2015821), with a grant duration of five years.


Professor Ruth Hubbard, Masonic Chair of Geriatric Medicine at the Centre for Health Services Research at the University of Queensland, is the Chief investigator for this program of work. The CRE is led by Donna Reidlinger, CRE Coordinator, and Dr Kristiana Ludlow, CRE Program Coordinating Fellow.


This CRE brings together the world’s leading frailty researchers, and clinicians, educators, and health services researchers who are best placed to deliver on the vision to improve the outcomes for frail hospital inpatients.

List of investigators

Chief Investigators


Professor Ruth Hubbard

The University of Queensland

Prof Sarah Hilmer

University of Sydney

Prof Kenneth Rockwood

Dalhousie University

Prof Kirsten Howard

University of Sydney

Prof Allison Jaure

University of Sydney

Prof Monika Janda

The University of Queensland

Prof Christopher Etherton-Beer

University of Western Australia

Assoc Prof Danijela Gnjidic

University of Sydney

Prof Kwang Lim

University of Melbourne

Dr Natasha Reid

The University of Queensland

Associate Investigators


Prof Dan Siskind

The University of Queensland

Prof David Story

University of Melbourne

Prof Anna Nowak

University of Western Australia

Dr Adrienne Young

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital

A/Prof Rosemary Saunders

Edith Cowan University

A/prof Nicola Warren

Metro South Hospital and Health Service

Dr Emily Gordon

The University of Queensland

Prof Heather Allore

Yale University

Prof Andrew Clegg

University of Leeds

Prof Fiona Lake

University of Western Australia

Please direct any queries to Dr Kristiana Ludlow, CRE Program Coordinating Fellow, at [email protected].