Derivation and Validation of a Prognostic Model to Predict 6-Month Mortality in an Intensive Care Unit Population

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Identification of terminally ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) would facilitate decision making and timely palliative care.


To develop and validate a patient-specific integrated prognostic model to predict 6-month mortality in medical ICU patients.


A longitudinal prospective cohort study of temporally split samples of 1,049 consecutive medical ICU patients in a tertiary care hospital was performed. For each patient, we collected demographic data, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score, Charlson comorbidity index, intensivist response to a surprise question (SQ; “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 6 months?”) on admission, and vital status at 6 months.


Between November 2013 and May 2015, derivation and validation cohorts of 500 and 549 consecutive patients were studied to develop a multivariate logistic regression model. In the multivariate logistic regression model, Charlson comorbidity index (P = 0.033), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score (P < 0.001), and SQ response (P < 0.001) were predictors of vital status at 6 months. The odds of dying within 6 months were significantly higher when the SQ was answered “no” than when it was answered “yes” (odds ratio, 7.29; P < 0.001). The c-statistic for the derivation and validation cohorts were 0.832 (95% confidence interval, 0.795-0.870) and 0.84 (95% confidence interval, 0.806-0.875), respectively.


Our integrated prognostic model, which includes the SQ, has strong discrimination and calibration to predict 6-month mortality in medical ICU patients. This model can aid clinicians in identifying ICU patients who may benefit from the integration of palliative care into their treatment.

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