Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Prognostic models are used in medicine for investigating patient outcome in relation to patient and disease characteristics. Such models do not always work well in practice, so it is widely recommended that they need to be validated. The idea of validating a prognostic model is generally taken to mean establishing that it works satisfactorily for patients other than those from whose data it was derived. In this paper we examine what is meant by validation and review why it is necessary. We consider how to validate a model and suggest that it is desirable to consider two rather different aspects - statistical and clinical validity - and examine some general approaches to validation. We illustrate the issues using several case studies.


Journal article


Stat med

Publication Date





453 - 473


Accidental Falls, Aged, Asthma, Craniocerebral Trauma, Decision Support Techniques, Humans, Myocardial Infarction, Prognosis, Prospective Studies, Reproducibility of Results, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors