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Individual survival time prediction using statistical models

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robin Henderson


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Doctors' survival predictions for terminally ill patients have been shown to be inaccurate and there has been an argument for less guesswork and more use of carefully constructed statistical indices. As statisticians, the authors are less confident in the predictive value of statistical models and indices for individual survival times. This paper discusses and illustrates a variety of measures which can be used to summarise predictive information available from a statistical model. The authors argue that models and statistical indices can be useful at the group or population level, but that human survival is so uncertain that even the best statistical analysis cannot provide single-number predictions of real use for individual patients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Henderson R, Keiding N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Medical Ethics

Year: 2005

Volume: 31

Issue: 12

Pages: 703-706

Print publication date: 01/12/2005

ISSN (print): 0306-6800

ISSN (electronic): 1473-4257

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/jme.2005.012427

PubMed id: 16319233


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