Show Summary Details
Page of

Prognostication and recognition of dying 

Prognostication and recognition of dying
Prognostication and recognition of dying

Viviana Forte

and Giovanni Gambassi


July 29, 2020: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 May 2022

Prognosis is the science of evaluating what is like to happen in term of health outcomes (recovery, death, disability) related to a patient’s condition (cancer, chronic disease, accident). Estimating the likelihood of a life-threatening illness becomes crucial, especially among older people. It allows us to balance the benefits and burdens of diagnostic tests and treatments, to plan with the patient and family by their values, and to take care of physical, psychological, and social suffering when the disease is incurable. Validated prognostication tools are available for cancer, chronic conditions, and advanced dementia to help decision-making in the terminal phase of illness. Recognition of dying and care during the last days/hours of life should be a core competency of every physician. When a patient is actively dying, common signs tend to be present and if symptoms are not well controlled, the dying process may be prolonged and the patient may suffer unnecessarily.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.