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J Palliat Med. 2012 Aug;15(8):902-9. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0437. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Development and cross-validation of the in-hospital mortality prediction in advanced cancer patients score: a preliminary study.

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Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Acute palliative care units (APCUs) provide intensive symptom support and transition of care for advanced cancer patients. Better understanding of the predictors of in-hospital mortality is needed to facilitate program planning and patient care. In this prospective study, we identified predictors of APCU mortality, and developed a four-item In-hospital Mortality Prediction in Advanced Cancer Patients (IMPACT) predictive model.


Between April and July 2010, we documented baseline demographics, the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS), 80 clinical signs including known prognostic factors, and 26 acute complications on admission in consecutive APCU patients. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors for inclusion in a nomogram, which was cross-validated with bootstrap analysis.


Among 151 consecutive patients, the median age was 58, 13 (9%) had hematologic malignancies, and 52 (34%) died in the hospital. In multivariate analysis, factors associated with in-hospital mortality were advanced education (odds ration [OR]=11.8, p=0.002), hematologic malignancies (OR=8.6, p=0.02), delirium (OR=4.3, p=0.02), and high ESAS global distress score (OR=20.8, p=0.01). In a nomogram based on these four factors, total scores of 6, 10, 14, 17, and 21 corresponded to a risk of death of 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90%, respectively. The model has 92% sensitivity and 88% specificity for predicting patients at low/high risk of dying in the hospital, and a receiver-operator characteristic curve concordance index of 83%.


Higher education was associated with increased utilization of the interdisciplinary palliative care unit until at the end of life. Patients with higher symptom burden, delirium, and hematologic malignancies were also more likely to require APCU care until death.

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