Background: Score-based survival prediction in patients with advanced heart failure (HF) is complicated. Easy-to-use prognostication tools could inform clinical decision-making and palliative care delivery.
Objective: To compare the prognostic utility of the Seattle HF model (SHFM), the surprise question (SQ), and the number of HF hospitalizations (NoH) within the last 12 months for predicting 1-year survival in patients with advanced HF.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed data from a cluster-randomized controlled trial of advanced HF patients, predominantly with reduced ejection fraction. Primary outcome was the prognostic discrimination of SHFM, SQ (“Would you be surprised if this patient were to die within 1 year?”) answered by HF cardiologists, and NoH, assessed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Optimal cut-offs were calculated using Youden’s index (SHFM: <86% predicted 1-year survival; NoH ≥ 2).
Results: Of 535 subjects, 82 (15.3%) had died after 1-year of follow-up. SHFM, SQ, and NoH yielded a similar area under the ROC curve [SHFM: 0.65 (0.60–0.71 95% CI); SQ: 0.58 (0.54–0.63 95% CI); NoH: 0.56 (0.50–0.62 95% CI)] and similar sensitivity [SHFM: 0.76 (0.65–0.84 95% CI); SQ: 0.84 (0.74–0.91 95% CI); NoH: 0.56 (0.45–0.67 95% CI)]. As compared to SHFM, SQ had lower specificity [SQ: 0.33 (0.28–0.37 95% CI) vs. SHFM: 0.55 (0.50–0.60 95% CI)] while NoH had similar specificity [0.56 (0.51–0.61 95% CI)]. SQ combined with NoH showed significantly higher specificity [0.68 (0.64–0.73 95% CI)].
Conclusion: SQ and NoH yielded comparable utility to SHFM for 1-year survival prediction among advanced HF patients, are easy-to-use and could inform bedside decision-making.