Navigation Links
Scoring System May Tell the Dying How Long They Have to Live
Date:8/26/2011

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A new scoring system might be able to tell patients in the final stages of cancer how much time they have left so they can prepare for their passing, British researchers report.

Called the Prognosis in Palliative Care Study (PiPS) predictor model, the scoring system plugs 11 variables into a computer to see how many days, weeks or months a person with advanced cancer most likely has to live. These variables include symptoms, general health status and blood results.

"The PiPS score is still in development, [and] it is certainly not fail-safe," stressed study author Dr. Patrick C. Stone, of St. George's University of London. "It is, however, slightly more reliable than a doctor's or a nurse's estimate of survival."

Many people with incurable cancer want this type of information, Stone added. "At this stage of a patient's illness, information about prognosis can allow patients sufficient time to prepare for their impending death and to make decisions about where they wish to be cared for," he said. "We would expect the PiPS score to complement the doctor's own intuitive estimate of survival, rather than replace their clinical judgment."

One expert in end-of-life care agreed that more accurate estimates would be valuable. "Prognostic information, when communicated skillfully, can enable patients and families to plan and take that last trip, can discourage toxic or invasive treatments in the final weeks of life, and can encourage use of hospice services," said Dr. Porter Storey, executive vice president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

The new system, which includes two scores (PiPS-A and PiPS-B), were at least as accurate as the predictions of doctors or nurses at determining how long 1,018 people with advanced cancer had left to live. PiPS-B includes blood work, and this particular score was better than any one doctor's estimate at predicting survival. Neither score is more reliable than a prediction that combines more than one medical opinion. The findings were reported in the Aug. 25 online edition of the BMJ.

There are some caveats, said Dr. Paul Glare, chief of the department of pain and palliative care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, including the fact that an electronic "app" is needed to use the new scoring system.

"They are developing an app, but we want simple tools that clinicians can use without a computer," he said. Another limitation is that the PiPS-B measures blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP); in the United States, doctors do not routinely measure blood levels of this inflammation marker among people with advanced cancer.

Still, a tool would be helpful, Glare said. "Clinicians may give an optimistic spin so patients think they have much longer to live than they really do," he said. "Doctors normally overestimate this information by a factor of four or five," he noted. "We don't want to take away hope, but we should be at least as accurate as possible so people can plan."

How such information is communicated to patients and their loved ones also matters, Glare said.

There are always scenarios where people exceed expectations, he added, and understanding more about these outliers may help any future tools become more accurate.

More information

To learn more about palliative care, visit the National Palliative Care Research Center.

SOURCES: Patrick C. Stone, M.D., St. George's University of London; Paul Glare, M.D., chief, department of pain and palliative care, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City; Porter Storey, MD, executive vice president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine; Aug. 25, 2011, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scoring system is 93 percent accurate for diagnosing Wilsons disease in pediatric patients
2. Carolinas HealthCare System Volunteers to Join Navy Rescue Mission in Haiti
3. University of Virginia Health System Medical Laboratories Selects Sunquest's Specimen Collection Solution
4. Silverchair Learning Systems Enhances Product Expertise with New Hires
5. Centene Corporation Hosts Medical Management Systems Update in New York City
6. U.S. National Guard Connects Nationwide with Desktop Alert's Command and Control Mass Notification Systems and Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)
7. Swine Flu vaccination: voluntary system works
8. New screening system for hepatitis C
9. Longtime Quality Assurance Executive Randy Johnson Joins White Pine Systems as Vice President of Product Services
10. Catholic Health East and BayCare Health System Pledge $200,000 to Rebuild Hospital in Port-Au-Prince
11. Don Blumenthal Joins White Pine Systems as Chief Compliance Officer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scoring System May Tell the Dying How Long They Have to Live
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... plastic surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to ... known procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... MIAMI, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Florida Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this ... of Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report to their ... treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces ... fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps ... and chloride in balance. Increasing number of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology and ... platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 nd ... 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A demonstration ... of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will be ... is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: