Linking survival time to an array of prognostic variables through a powerful statistical model can provide reliable, valid and potentially useful information for patient care. We present a summary of the recently developed SUPPORT model [Study to Understand Prognoses and Preferences for Outcomes and Risks of Treatment] for estimating survival time of seriously ill adult inpatients and illustrate the possible clinical use of such a model. This model is then translated into counseling. Clinicians are positioned to evaluate the relevance and validity of any model and to understand their persistent shortcomings.
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