Predicting death in home care users: derivation and validation of the Risk Evaluation for Support: Predictions for Elder-Life in the Community Tool (RESPECT) Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Prognostication tools that report personalized mortality risk and survival could improve discussions about end-of-life and advance care planning. We sought to develop and validate a mortality risk model for older adults with diverse care needs in home care using self-reportable information - the Risk Evaluation for Support: Predictions for Elder-Life in the Community Tool (RESPECT). METHODS: Using a derivation cohort that comprised adults living in Ontario, Canada, aged 50 years and older with at least 1 Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC) record between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2012, we developed a mortality risk model. The primary outcome was mortality 6 months after a RAI-HC assessment. We used proportional hazards regression with robust standard errors to account for clustering by the individual. We validated this algorithm for a second cohort of users of home care who were assessed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013. We used Kaplan-Meier survival curves to estimate the observed risk of death at 6 months for assessment of calibration and median survival. We constructed 61 risk groups based on incremental increases in the estimated median survival of about 3 weeks among adults at high risk and 3 months among adults at lower risk. RESULTS: The derivation and validation cohorts included 435 009 and 139 388 adults, respectively. We identified a total of 122 823 deaths within 6 months of a RAI-HC assessment in the derivation cohort. The mean predicted 6-month mortality risk was 10.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.7%-10.8%) and ranged from 1.54% (95% CI 1.53%-1.54%) in the lowest to 98.1% (95% CI 98.1%-98.2%) in the highest risk group. Estimated median survival spanned from 28 days (11 to 84 d at the 25th and 75th percentiles) in the highest risk group to over 8 years (1925 to 3420 d) in the lowest risk group. The algorithm had a c-statistic of 0.753 (95% CI 0.750-0.756) in our validation cohort. INTERPRETATION: The RESPECT mortality risk prediction tool that makes use of readily available information can improve the identification of palliative and end-of-life care needs in a diverse older adult population receiving home care.


  • Hsu, Amy T
  • Manuel, Douglas G
  • Spruin, Sarah
  • Bennett, Carol
  • Taljaard, Monica
  • Beach, Sarah
  • Sequeira, Yulric
  • Talarico, Robert
  • Chalifoux, Mathieu
  • Kobewka, Daniel
  • Costa, Andrew
  • Bronskill, Susan E
  • Tanuseputro, Peter

publication date

  • July 5, 2021