Developing tools to predict outcomes following cardiovascular surgery

Margaret Boult, Kate L. Fitzpatrick, Mary B. Barnes, Guy J. Maddern, Robert A. Fitridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Surgical decision-making tools may help surgeons achieve better outcomes by providing more personally relevant information to patients. This paper describes approaches to developing statistical tools capable of estimating the probability of morbidity and mortality after cardiovascular surgery. Our aim is to inform surgeons about the important stages that contribute to the development of decision tools.

Methods: The key elements described include study design (data quality, cohort size, etc.) and statistical methodology for developing and testing decision tools. Mention is made of the delivery of decision tools, simplicity of use, ease of interpretation of results and accessibility. Information specific to cardiac and vascular surgery is included.

Results: Development of useful and effective decision tools is dependent on robust and reliable data, unambiguous outcome requirements and considerable statistical expertise. Decision tools must also be extensively tested for validity and reliability, both internally and with external data.

Conclusion: Understanding the development and assumptions that underlie surgical decision tool development will help cardiovascular surgeons appreciate the value of applying such techniques at a clinical level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-773
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac surgery
  • decision tool
  • model development
  • predictive modelling
  • vascular surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Decision tool
  • Model development
  • Predictive modelling
  • Cardiac surgery


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