The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Doc, how long have I got?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Pic stolen from here

 

This will interest some of you at least — the more numerate and analytical. It’s an online diagnostic tool to determine longevity.

Here’s the rationale as described by the New York Times:

To help prevent overtesting and overtreatment of older patients — or undertreatment for those who remain robust at advanced ages — medical guidelines increasingly call for doctors to consider life expectancy as a factor in their decision-making. But clinicians, research has shown, are notoriously poor at predicting how many years their patients have left.

Now, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have identified 16 assessment scales with “moderate” to “very good” abilities to determine the likelihood of death within six months to five years in various older populations. Moreover, the authors have fashioned interactive tools of the most accurate and useful assessments.

“We think a more frank discussion of prognosis in the elderly is sorely needed,” said Dr. Sei Lee, a geriatrician at U.C.S.F. and a co-author of the review. “Without it, decisions are made that are more likely to hurt patients than help them.”

If that’s whetted your appetite, you can read the whole article here.

And you’ll want to have a look at the interactive longevity-calculating tool, ePrognosis, too. Tip: sign on as a healthcare professional to get the tool to work. Find it here

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