Syllabi - Geriatric Medicine - Prognosis Scenario
You see a 70 year old man in an outpatient clinical 3 months after he has been discharged from your service with an ischaemic (presumed thrombotic) stroke. He is in sinus rhythm, has mild residual left-sided weakness but is otherwise well. His only medication is aspirin and he has no allergies. He recently saw an article on the BMJ website describing the risk of seizure after a stroke and is concerned that this will happen to him. Together you form the question: "In patients with a history of stroke, what is the risk of seizure within the first year?"
You search MEDLINE using the terms "stroke" and "seizure" and find the article he was referring to. BMJ 1997;315:1582-7
Read the article and decide:
- Is this evidence about prognosis valid?
- Is this valid evidence about prognosis important?
- Can you apply this valid and important evidence about prognosis in caring for your patient?
Completed Prognosis Worksheet for Evidence-Based Geriatric Medicine
Burn J, Dennis M, Bamford J et al. Epileptic seizures after a first stroke: the Oxfordshire community stroke project.
Are the results of this prognosis study valid?
- Was a defined, representative sample of patients assembled at a common (usually early) point in the course of their disease?
- Yes - from a common point but unsure how GPs decided which stroke patients should be admitted to hospital
- Was patient follow-up sufficiently long and complete?
- Yes-minimum of 2 years and up to 6.5 years
- Were objective outcome criteria applied in a "blind" fashion?
- Patients were asked at follow-up if they had a seizure and were then assessed by a study neurologist (unsure if neurologist was blinded)
- If subgroups with different prognoses are identified, was there adjustment for important prognostic factors?
- Looked at different stroke types, previous history of stroke
- Was there validation in an independent group ("test-set") of patients?
Are the valid results of this prognosis study important?
- How likely are the outcomes over time?
- 5.7% over one year
- How precise are the prognostic estimates?
- 95% confidence interval - 3.5 to 7.9%
If you want to calculate a Confidence Interval around the measure of Prognosis
|Clinical Measure||Standard Error (SE)||Typical calculation of CI|
Proportion (as in the rate of some prognostic event, etc) where:
the number of patients = n
the proportion of these patients who experience the event = p
where p is proportion and n is number of patients
If p = 24/60 = 0.4 (or 40%) and n=60
95% CI is 40% +/- 1.96 x 6.3% or 27.6% to 52.4%
n from your evidence: 675
Can you apply this valid, important evidence about prognosis in caring for your patient?
- Were the study patients similar to your own?
- Will this evidence make a clinically important impact on your conclusions about what to offer or tell your patient?
Stroke-risk of seizure
Clinical Bottom LineAcute Cholecystitis - Lap chole may be as safe as open chole
CitationBurn J, Dennis M, Bamford J et al. Epileptic seizures after a first stroke: the Oxfordshire community stroke project. BMJ 1997;315:1582-7
Clinical QuestionIn a patient with stroke, what is the risk of seizure at one year?
Search Terms"stroke" and "seizure" in Medline
- 675 pts registered in a community-based stroke registry after their first stroke
- The Outcome: seizure
- Well-defined sample at uniform (early) stage of illness..?, yes;
- Follow-up long enough..?, yes;
- Follow-up complete..?, yes;
- Blind and objective outcome criteria..?, no;
- Adjustment for other prognostic factors..?, no;
- Validation in an independent "test-set" of patients..?, no
|Prognostic Factor||Outcome||Time||Measure||Likelihood Ratio|
|cerebral infarction||seizure||1 year||4.2%||2.2 to 6.2%|
|primary intracerebral haemorrhage||seizure||1 year||20%||1.5 to 38.3%|
|subarachnoid haemorrhage||seizure||1 year||22%||2.6 to 41.8%|
|any stroke||seizure||1 year||5.7%||3.5 to 7.9%|