Objective: Previous studies suggest that care dependency may predict survival in hospitalized patients, but the prognostic value of care dependency in clinically stable outpatients with advanced chronic organ failure remains unknown. The objective of this study was to assess whether and to what extent care dependency predicts 2-year survival in patients with advanced chronic organ failure.
Design: Longitudinal observational study.
Setting: Patients were recruited at the outpatient clinic of one academic and six general hospitals in The Netherlands.
Participants: A total of 265 clinically stable outpatients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n = 105), chronic heart failure (n = 80), and chronic renal failure (n = 80) were included at baseline.
Measurements: Care dependency was assessed using the Care Dependency Scale (CDS), a 15-item self-administered questionnaire. In addition, patients performed a Timed Up and Go test to assess mobility. Finally, demographics, clinical characteristics, and 2-year survival were recorded.
Results: At baseline, 116 patients (43.8%) reported a CDS score ≤ 68 points and were considered as care dependent. In total, 66 patients (24.9%) died within 2 years. The Cox regression model showed that a higher CDS score (lower level of care dependency) was associated with a lower probability of dying within 2 years (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95% CI: 0.90-0.97), whereas older age was associated with a greater probability of dying within 2 years (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.09).
Conclusion: The level of care dependency independently predicts 2-year survival among clinically stable outpatients with advanced chronic organ failure. Therefore, regular assessment of the level of care dependency should be included in clinical care for patients with advanced chronic organ failure.
Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.