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Palliative care improves the value of care for seriously ill patients, but resource constraints necessitate targeting palliative care interventions to patients who need them most.1 The “surprise” question (SQ)—“Would you be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?”—has emerged as an attractive, simple solution for identifying patients who might benefit from palliative care.2,3 Despite optimism about the potential of the SQ to identify primary care patients who would benefit from palliative care,4 there is no evidence on its performance in this setting.
Lakin JR, Robinson MG, Bernacki RE, Powers BW, Block SD, Cunningham R, Obermeyer Z. Estimating 1-Year Mortality for High-Risk Primary Care Patients Using the “Surprise” Question. JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 03, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5928