A comparison of survival models for prediction of eight-year revision risk following total knee and hip arthroplasty

Alana R. Cuthbert, Lynne C. Giles, Gary Glonek, Lisa M. Kalisch Ellett, Nicole L. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is increasing interest in the development and use of clinical prediction models, but a lack of evidence-supported guidance on the merits of different modelling approaches. This is especially true for time-to-event outcomes, where limited studies have compared the vast number of modelling approaches available. This study compares prediction accuracy and variable importance measures for four modelling approaches in prediction of time-to-revision surgery following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and total hip arthroplasty (THA). Methods: The study included 321,945 TKA and 151,113 THA procedures performed between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2017. Accuracy of the Cox model, Weibull parametric model, flexible parametric model, and random survival forest were compared, with patient age, sex, comorbidities, and prosthesis characteristics considered as predictors. Prediction accuracy was assessed using the Index of Prediction Accuracy (IPA), c-index, and smoothed calibration curves. Variable importance rankings from the Cox model and random survival forest were also compared. Results: Overall, the Cox and flexible parametric survival models performed best for prediction of both TKA (integrated IPA 0.056 (95% CI [0.054, 0.057]) compared to 0.054 (95% CI [0.053, 0.056]) for the Weibull parametric model), and THA revision. (0.029 95% CI [0.027, 0.030] compared to 0.027 (95% CI [0.025, 0.028]) for the random survival forest). The c-index showed broadly similar discrimination between all modelling approaches. Models were generally well calibrated, but random survival forest underfitted the predicted risk of TKA revision compared to regression approaches. The most important predictors of revision were similar in the Cox model and random survival forest for TKA (age, opioid use, and patella resurfacing) and THA (femoral cement, depression, and opioid use). Conclusion: The Cox and flexible parametric models had superior overall performance, although all approaches performed similarly. Notably, this study showed no benefit of a tuned random survival forest over regression models in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164
Pages (from-to)164
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 6 Jun 2022


  • Flexible parametric survival model
  • Hip replacement
  • Knee replacement
  • Machine learning
  • Parametric survival model
  • Prediction model
  • Random survival forest
  • Time-to-event data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Informatics

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