Improved Prediction of Older Adult Discharge After Trauma Using a Novel Machine Learning Paradigm

Rachel S. Morris, Christopher J. Tignanelli, Terri deRoon-Cassini, Purushottam Laud, Rodney Sparapani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The ability to reliably predict outcomes after trauma in older adults (age ≥ 65 y) is critical for clinical decision making. Using novel machine-learning techniques, we sought to design a nonlinear, competing risks paradigm for prediction of older adult discharge disposition following injury.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The National Trauma Databank (NTDB) was used to identify patients 65+ y between 2007 and 2014. Training was performed on an enriched cohort of diverse patients. Factors included age, comorbidities, length of stay, and physiologic parameters to predict in-hospital mortality and discharge disposition (home versus skilled nursing/long-term care facility). Length of stay and discharge status were analyzed via competing risks survival analysis with Bayesian additive regression trees and a multinomial mixed model.

RESULTS: The resulting sample size was 47,037 patients. Admission GCS and age were important in predicting mortality and discharge disposition. As GCS decreased, patients were more likely to die (risk ratio increased by average of 1.4 per 2-point drop in GCS, P < 0.001). As GCS decreased, patients were also more likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing or long-term care facility (risk ratio decreased by 0.08 per 2-point decrease in GCS, P< 0.001). The area under curve for prediction of discharge home was improved in the competing risks model 0.73 versus 0.43 in the traditional multinomial mixed model.

CONCLUSIONS: Predicting older adult discharge disposition after trauma is improved using machine learning over traditional regression analysis. We confirmed that a nonlinear, competing risks paradigm enhances prediction on any given hospital day post injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Early online dateOct 7 2021
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Bayesian Additive Regression Trees
  • Competing risks
  • Discharge home
  • Geriatric
  • Nonparametric
  • Predictive modeling
  • Trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved Prediction of Older Adult Discharge After Trauma Using a Novel Machine Learning Paradigm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this