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Am J Med. 1982 Dec;73(6):889-97.

A convenient approximation of life expectancy (the "DEALE"). II. Use in medical decision-making.


We show how to use a bedside approximation of life expectancy in quantitative decision-making. This method, the declining exponential approximation of life expectancy (DEALE), enables the physician to collate various survival data with information on morbidity to determine a quality-adjusted expected survival for a potential management plan. The keystone in the DEALE approach is the approximation of survival by a simple exponential function. This approximation makes it possible to translate data from various literature sources (life expectancy tables, five-year survival rates, survival curves, median survival) into a single, unified mortality scale. In this paper, we use the DEALE method to obtain approximations of quality-adjusted life expectancy and illustrate the application of the method in a quantitative analysis of a clinical decision.

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