Physicians and nurses may be better at predicting survival than functional outcomes for critically ill patients, according to a study published yesterday by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Physicians and nurses in five intensive care units were asked to predict hospital survival, plus survival and functional outcomes at six months for 303 patients. The physicians most accurately predicted six-month mortality and least accurately predicted cognition. The nurses most accurately predicted in-hospital mortality and least accurately predicted cognition. Accuracy was higher for both when they were confident about their predictions. Compared with a predictive model including objective clinical variables, a model that also included physician and nurse predictions had significantly higher accuracy for in-hospital mortality, six-month mortality and return to original residence, the study found.

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