Prediction of 6-month survival of nursing home residents with advanced dementia using ADEPT vs hospice eligibility guidelines

Susan L. Mitchell, Susan C. Miller, Joan M. Teno, Dan K. Kiely, Roger B. Davis, Michele L. Shaffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Context: Estimating life expectancy is challenging in advanced dementia, potentially limiting the use of hospice care in these patients. Objective: To prospectively validate and compare the performance of the Advanced Dementia Prognostic Tool (ADEPT) and hospice eligibility guidelines to estimate 6-month survival in nursing home residents with advanced dementia. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cohort study conducted in 21 nursing homes in Boston, Massachusetts, of 606 residents with advanced dementia who were recruited between November 1, 2007, and July 30, 2009. Data were ascertained at baseline to determine the residents' ADEPT score (range, 1.0-32.5; higher scores indicate worse prognosis) and whether they met Medicare hospice eligibility guidelines. Survival was followed up to 6 months. Main Outcome Measures: Assessment and comparison of the performance of the ADEPT score and hospice guidelines to predict 6-month survival using sensitivity, specificity, and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve. Results: At baseline, the residents' mean (SD) ADEPT score was 10.1 (3.1) points and 65 residents (10.7%) met hospice eligibility guidelines. Over 6 months, 111 residents (18.3%) died. The AUROC for the ADEPT score's prediction of 6-month mortality as a continuous variable was 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-0.72). The AUROC for Medicare hospice eligibility guidelines was 0.55 (95% CI, 0.51-0.59), the specificity was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.86-0.92), and the sensitivity was 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13-0.28). Using a cutoff of 13.5 on the ADEPT score, which also had specificity of 0.89, the AUROC was 0.58 (95% CI, 0.54-0.63) and the sensitivity was 0.27 (95% CI, 0.19-0.36). Conclusions: When prospectively validated at the bedside and used as a continuous measure, the ability of the ADEPT score to identify nursing home residents with advanced dementia at high risk of death within 6 months was modest, albeit better than hospice eligibility guidelines. Care provided to these residents should be guided by their goals of care rather than estimated life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1929-1935
Number of pages7
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 3 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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