The primary barrier to initiating palliative care for advanced COPD patients is the unpredictable course of the disease. We enroll 752 COPD patients into the study and validate the prediction tools for 1-year mortality using the current guidelines for palliative care. We also develop a composite prediction index for 1-year mortality and validate it in another cohort of 342 patients. Using the current prognostic models for recent mortality in palliative care, the best area under the curve (AUC) for predicting mortality is 0.68. Using the Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea score and oxygen saturation to define the combined dyspnea and oxygenation (DO) index, we find that the AUC of the DO index is 0.84 for predicting mortality in the validated cohort. Predictions of 1-year mortality based on the current palliative care guideline for COPD patients are poor. The DO index exhibits better predictive ability than other models in the study.
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