A study reported by Medscape found that confidence plays a big role in how accurate doctors and nurses are when predicting survival for ICU patients.

The participating clinicians included the patient’s attending physician and primary bedside registered nurse. They were asked to predict the patient’s chances of in-hospital survival, plus five more outcomes at 6 months: survival, return to original residence, independent toileting, ability to independently climb a flight of stairs, and cognitive function. For each prediction, the clinicians also were asked to rate their confidence in the prediction, on a Likert scale of 1 (not confident at all) to 5 (very confident). All predictions were made within 24 hours of patient enrollment in the study.

For each predicted outcome, the researchers calculated likelihood ratios (LRs) as well as several other operating characteristics. Higher positive LRs suggest greater accuracy at predicting adverse outcomes, whereas lower negative LRs reflect greater accuracy at predicting favorable outcomes.

Physicians were most accurate at predicting 6-month mortality but were least accurate at predicting cognitive outcomes.

Read more at www.medscape.com