Indexed on: 27 Feb '14Published on: 27 Feb '14Published in: Journal of the American Medical Directors Association
Nursing homes become important locations for palliative care. By means of comprehensive geriatric assessments (CGAs), an evaluation can be made of the different palliative care needs of nursing home residents. This review aims to identify all CGAs that can be used to assess palliative care needs in long-term care settings and that have been validated for nursing home residents receiving palliative care. The CGAs are evaluated in terms of psychometric properties and content comprehensiveness.A systematic literature search in electronic databases MEDLINE, Web of Science, EMBASE, Cochrane, CINAHL, and PsycInfo was conducted for the years 1990 to 2012.Nursing homes.Nursing home residents with palliative care needs.Psychometric data on validity and reliability were extracted from the articles. The content comprehensiveness of the identified CGAs was analyzed, using the 13 domains for a palliative approach in residential aged care of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging.A total of 1368 articles were identified. Seven studies met our inclusion criteria, describing 5 different CGAs that have been validated for nursing home residents with palliative care needs. All CGAs demonstrate moderate to high psychometric properties. The interRAI Palliative Care instrument (interRAI PC) covers all domains for a palliative approach in residential aged care of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging. The McMaster Quality of Life Scale covers nine domains. All other CGAs cover seven domains or fewer.The interRAI PC and the McMaster Quality of Life Scale are considered to be the most comprehensive CGAs to evaluate the needs and preferences of nursing home residents receiving palliative care. Future research should aim to examine the effectiveness of the identified CGAs and to further validate the CGAs for nursing home residents with palliative care needs.