Subjective, Objective, and Observed Long-term Survival: A Longitudinal Cohort Study | Geriatrics | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
December 2015

Subjective, Objective, and Observed Long-term Survival: A Longitudinal Cohort Study

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Geriatrics, University of California–San Francisco
  • 2Geriatrics and Extended Care, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(12):1986-1988. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.5542

Many professional guidelines recommend using life expectancy when considering diagnostic or treatment interventions in which the time to benefit may exceed patients’ survival.1 When subjected to such tests and treatments, these patients are put at risk for up-front harms with little chance of reaping benefits.2

Patients’ perceptions of prognosis are important. Clinicians who follow recommended guidelines may urge patients to change health routines to which they have become accustomed. Patients who underestimate their survival may choose to forego interventions that are likely to help them, while those who overestimate may choose to undergo interventions that are more likely to cause harm. However, little is known about how well older adults estimate their survival, the aim of this analysis.

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