A comparison of palliative care outcome measures used to assess the quality of palliative care provided in long-term care facilities: a systematic review.

Research paper by Deborah D Parker, Brent B Hodgkinson

Indexed on: 08 Sep '10Published on: 08 Sep '10Published in: Palliative medicine


Provision of palliative care in long-term care (LTC) facilities is important, but limited research has been undertaken to investigate the most appropriate outcome measure for use in this setting. In this systematic review we aimed to measure the psychometric properties (reliability/validity) and feasibility of palliative outcome measures used to assess the quality of palliative care provided in LTC. For identification of outcome measures we undertook systematic searches of electronic databases from 1 January 2000 to 12 September 2008. Included studies were assessed by two independent reviewers for methodological quality prior to inclusion in the review using an appraisal checklist developed for the review to evaluate validity, reliability and feasibility. Ten articles were included in the final review and these provided specific information on the psychometric properties of 10 outcome measures. Four of these measures reported data specifically for residents in LTC facilities, while the remaining six measures reported a sub-set of data for residents in LTC facilities. The Family Perceptions of Care Scale is considered by the authors as the most suitable outcome measure for use in LTC facilities. Of the remaining nine measures, a further two were also considered suitable for measuring the quality of palliative care in residential aged care facilities. These are the Quality of Dying in Long-term Care scale and the Toolkit Interview.