Background: Palliative care strives to improve quality of life for patients with incurable diseases. This approach includes adequate support of the patients’ loved ones. Consequently, loved ones have personal experiences of providing end-of-life care for their next. This is a resource for information and may help to investigate the loved ones’ perspectives on need for improvements.
Aim: To identify further quality aspects considered important by loved ones to improve the quality of care at the end of life as an addition to quantitative results from the Care of the Dying Evaluation for the German-speaking area (CODE-GER) questionnaire.
Design: Within the validation study of the questionnaire ‘Care of the Dying Evaluation’ (CODETM) GER, loved ones were asked to comment (free text) in parallel on each item of the CODE-GER. These free-text notes were analysed with the qualitative content analysis method by Philipp Mayring.
Setting/participants: Loved ones of patients (n=237), who had died an expected death in two university hospitals (palliative and non-palliative care units) during the period from April 2016 to March 2017.
Results: 993 relevant paragraphs were extracted out of 1261 free-text notes. For loved ones, important aspects of quality of care are information/communication, respect of the patient’s and/or loved one’s will, involvement in decision-making at the end of life (patient’s volition) and having the possibility to say goodbye.
Conclusions: It is important for loved ones to be taken seriously in their sorrows, to be informed, that the caregivers respect the patients’ will and to be emotionally supported.
Trial registration number This study was registered at the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00013916).
Background: Providing patient-centered care (PCC) during the last year of life (LYOL) can be challenging due to the complexity of the patients’ medical, social and psychological needs, especially in case of chronic illnesses. Assessing PCC can be helpful in identifying areas for improvements. Since not all patients can be surveyed, a questionnaire for proxy informants was developed in order to retrospectively assess patient-centeredness in care during the whole LYOL. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and validity of an adapted version of the German Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) for surveying bereaved persons in order to assess PCC during the decedents’ LYOL.
Methods: The German PACIC short form (11 items) was adapted to a nine-item version for surveying bereaved persons on the decedent’s LYOL (PACIC-S9-Proxy). Items were rated on a five-point Likert scale. The PACIC adaptation and validation was part of a cross-sectional survey in the region of Cologne. Participants were recruited through self-selection and active recruitment by practice partners. Sociodemographic characteristics and missing data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted in order to assess the structure of the PACIC-S9-Proxy. Internal consistency was estimated using Cronbach’s alpha.
Results: Of the 351 informants who participated in the survey, 230 (65.52%) considered their decedent to have suffered from chronic illness prior to death. 193 of these informants (83.91%) completed =5 items of the questionnaire and were included in the analysis. The least answered item was item (74.09%) was item 4 (encouragement to group & classes for coping). The most frequently answered item (96.89%) was item 2 (satisfaction with care organization). Informants rated the item” Given a copy of their treatment plan” highest (mean 3.96), whereas “encouragement to get to a specific group or class to cope with the condition” (mean 1.74) was rated lowest. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.84. A unidimensional structure of the questionnaire was found (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin 0.86, Bartlett’s test for sphericity p < 0.001), with items’ factor loadings ranging from 0.46 to 0.82.
Conclusions: The nine-item questionnaire can be used as efficient tool for assessing PCC during the LYOL retrospectively and by proxies.
Background: To assess the psychometric properties, including internal consistency, construct validity, criterion validity, criterion-group validity, and responsiveness, the Reviewed McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQOL-R), into Brazilian Portuguese-(BrP). Also, to analyze the relationship of the BrP-MQOL-R with the scores on the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) and on the Numerical Pain Scale (NPS 0–10).
Methods: The BrP-MQOL-R was administered to a sample of 146 adults (men = 78). A team of experts translated the MQOL-R according to international guidelines. Convergent validity and Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed.
Results: The BrP-MQOL-R Cronbach’s alpha was 0.85. CFA supported the original four-factor structure, with the following revised model fit-indices: PCLOSE = 0.131, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) rho 2 = 0.918, incremental fit index (IFI) delta 2 = 0.936. The convergence validity is supported by a significant correlation between BrP-MQOL-R total scores and their subscales with KPS and with the single item related to the quality of life. And by a converse correlation with the pain scores in the NPS (0–10). Receiver operator characteristics (ROC) analysis showed subjects with KPS equal to or lower than 30% could be discriminated from those with scores on KPS higher than 30% by an area under the curve (AUC) = 0.71, sensitivity = 97%, and specificity = 92%).
Conclusion: The BrP-MQOL-R proves to be a reliable instrument for assessing the quality of life (QOL) in palliative care (PC), with primary evidence of validity. BrP-MQOL-R presented adequate discriminate properties to identify distinct conditions that impact the QOL in PC.
OBJECTIVE: No prior studies have used a single sample of bereaved families of cancer patients to compare multiple scales for assessing Complicated Grief. Here, we compare the two measures.
METHODS: We sent a questionnaire to the bereaved families of cancer patients who had died at 71 palliative care units nationwide.
RESULTS: The analysis included 3173 returned questionnaires. Prevalence of Complicated Grief was 7.8% by Brief Grief Questionnaire (with a cutoff score of 8) and 15.5% for Inventory of Complicated Grief (with a cutoff score of 26). The Spearman's correlation coefficient between the Brief Grief Questionnaire and the Inventory of Complicated Grief was 0.79, and a ceiling effect was seen for the distribution of the Brief Grief Questionnaire scores. Although 6.4% of respondents scored both 8 or higher on the Brief Grief Questionnaire and 26 or higher on the Inventory of Complicated Grief, only 1.4% scored both 8 or higher on the Brief Grief Questionnaire and <26 on the Inventory of Complicated Grief. In contrast, 9.1% scored <8 on the Brief Grief Questionnaire but 26 or higher on the Inventory of Complicated Grief.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of Complicated Grief was estimated to be higher by the Inventory of Complicated Grief than by the Brief Grief Questionnaire in this sample. Patients with severe Complicated Grief might be difficult to discriminate their intensity of grief by the Brief Grief Questionnaire. Once the diagnostic criteria of Complicated Grief are established, further research, such as optimization of cutoff points and calculations of sensitivity and specificity, will be necessary.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care is nowadays essential in nursing care, due to the increasing number of patients who require attention in the final stages of their life. Lack of knowledge of and negative attitude palliative care among nurses is one of the most common barriers to quality palliative care. This study, therefore, aimed to assess nurses' knowledge about palliative care and attitude toward end-of-life care in public hospitals in Wollega zones, Ethiopia.
METHODS: A multicenter institutional-based cross-sectional study design was employed to collect data from 372 nurses working in public hospitals in Wollega zones from October 02-22, 2019. A self-administered questionnaire with three different parts: Demographic characteristics of nurses, the Palliative Care Quiz for Nursing (PCQN), and the Frommelt Attitudes Towards Care of the Dying (FATCOD). SPSS version 21 was used for analysis used for data analysis. The binary logistic regression test was used for analysis at p < 0.05.
FINDINGS: Our final sample size was 422 nurses (response rate = 88%). With the mean total PCQN scores (9.34), the majority of them showed an inadequate level of knowledge about palliative care. The mean total FATCOD scores (79.58) displayed a positive attitude toward end-of-life care, with 52% of respondents eager to care for a dying person and their family. Nurses who had PC service experience [AOR = 1.94 CI (1.10-3.42), p = 0.02] and had ever attended training/lecture on PC [AOR = 1.87 CI (1.01-3.46), p = 0.04] were independently associated with nurses' knowledge about PC. Similarly, nurses who had no PC service experience [AOR = 0.41, CI (0.21-0.79), p = 0.008], who read articles/brochures about PC [AOR = 1.94, CI (1.11-3.39), p = 0.01] and had provided care for a smaller number of terminally ill patients [AOR = 1.74, CI (1.01-2.97), p = 0.04] were significantly associated with nurses' attitude towards end-of-life care.
CONCLUSION: The study highlighted that nurses' knowledge about palliative care is inadequate, and showed a less favorable attitude toward end-of-life care. The findings also provide evidence for greater attentions and resources should be directed towards educating and supporting nurses caring for patients with palliative care needs in Wollega Zones.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the attitudes of front-line clinical nurses toward hospice care in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a source of reference for hospice care education and training in hospitals treating patients with COVID-19.
METHOD: Front-line nurses from a designated COVID-19 hospital in Wuhan, China, participated. Participants completed the Chinese versions of the General Information Questionnaire, the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying Scale, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale.
RESULTS: A total of 149 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The median total hospice care attitudes score was median 102.00 (interquartile range, 95.5-120.50). The nurses' attitudes toward hospice care were significantly associated with their age, knowledge of hospice care, level of empathy, and self-efficacy.
CONCLUSION: The attitudes of front-line nurses toward hospice care need to be improved. Hospital departments should establish an effective public health emergency strategy, provide training to increase front-line nurses' knowledge and practical experience of hospice care, cultivate nurses' empathy, and enhance their sense of self-efficacy, in order to improve the quality of hospice care for patients and their families.
Background: International studies indicate deficits in end-of-life care that can lead to distress for patients and their next-of-kin.
The aim of the study was to translate and validate the “Care of the Dying Evaluation” (CODE) into German (CODE-GER).
Methods: Translation according to EORTC (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer) guidelines was followed by data collection to evaluate psychometric properties of CODE-GER. Participants were next-of-kin of patients who had died an expected death in two hospitals. They were invited to participate at least eight, but not later than 16 weeks after the patient’s death. To calculate construct validity, the Palliative care Outcome Scale (POS) was assessed. Difficulty and perceived strain of answering the questionnaire were assessed by a numeric scale (0–10).
Results: Out of 1137 next-of-kin eligible, 317 completed the questionnaire (response rate: 27.9%). Data from 237 main sample participants, 38 interraters and 55 next-of-kin who participated for repeated measurement were analysed. Overall internal consistency, a = 0.86, interrater reliability, ICC (1) = 0.79, and retest-reliability, ICC (1, 2) = 0.85, were good. Convergent validity between POS and CODE-GER, r = -.46, was satisfactory. A principal component analysis with varimax rotation showed a 7-factor solution. Difficulty, M = 2.2; SD ± 2.4, and perceived strain, M = 4.1; SD ± 3.0, of completing the questionnaire were rather low.
Conclusion: The results from the present study confirm CODE-GER as a reliable and valid instrument to assess the quality of care of the dying person. More over our study adds value to the original questionnaire by proposing a deepened analysis of obtained data. The development of seven subscales increases its potential for further surveys and research.
Objective: There are limited data on patient-reported outcomes near the end of life in patients with gynaecologic cancers. This study aimed to assess the symptom burden in the last 6 months of life in a real-world cohort.
Methods: Patients diagnosed with metastatic gynaecologic malignancies from 2016 to 2019 who completed the revised Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESASr) questionnaire within 6 months of death in a large Canadian province were identified. Patient-reported symptom scores were categorized as none to mild (0–3) and moderate to severe (4–10). Individual symptoms were subsequently grouped into physical, psychological, and total subscores. The severity of symptoms was further analyzed for any associations with age, time to death, and primary tumour site (ovarian vs. uterocervical and vulvovaginal).
Results: We identified 107 patients with gynaecologic malignancies including 59 ovarian, 29 uterocervical, and 19 vulvovaginal cancers. The median ages at diagnosis and questionnaire completion were 64 and 65 years, respectively. The median time from completing the ESASr questionnaire to death was 65 days. Overall, physical and psychological symptoms were moderate to severe in 57.9% and 40.2% of patients, respectively. Among the individual symptoms, tiredness was the most commonly reported moderate to severe symptom (74.9%), while shortness of breath was least commonly reported (31.6%). While physical (P < 0.001) and total symptom (P = 0.009) subscores were more likely to be moderate to severe in intensity as death approached, the psychological subscore (P = 0.744) had no relationship with time to death. Longer time to death was predictive of lower physical (P = 0.002) and total symptom (P = 0.002) subscores, while a primary uterocervical cancer site was associated with a lower psychological symptom subscore (P = 0.042).
Conclusions: In the real-world setting, unique symptom trajectories can emerge for patients with gynaecologic cancer near the end of life. Knowledge of these specific symptom patterns can help inform the development and delivery of targeted palliative interventions to improve quality of life for these patients.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) can help to enhance the care of patients with limited life expectancy. Despite physicians’ key role in ACP, the ways in which physicians estimate and communicate prognosis can be improved.
Aim: To determine how physicians in different care settings self-assess their performance in estimating and communicating prognosis to patients in palliative care, and how they perceive their communication with other physicians about patients’ poor prognosis.
Design & setting: A survey study was performed among a random sample of GPs, hospital physicians (HPs), and nursing home physicians (NHPs) in the southwest of the Netherlands (n = 2212).
Method: A questionnaire was developed that had three versions for GPs, HPs, and NHPs. Each specialism filled in an appropriate version.
Results: A total of 547 physicians participated: 259 GPs, 205 HPs, and 83 NHPs. In the study, 61.1% of physicians indicated being able to adequately estimate whether a patient will die within 1 year, which was associated with use of the Surprise Question (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65, P = 0.042). In the case of a prognosis of <1 year, 75.0% of physicians indicated that they communicate with patients about preferences regarding treatment and care, which was associated with physicians being trained in palliative care (OR = 2.02, P=0.007). In cases where patients with poor prognosis are discharged after hospital admission, 83.4% of HPs indicated that they inform GPs about these patients’ preferences compared with 29.0% of GPs, and 21.7% of NHPs, who indicated that they are usually adequately informed about the preferences.
Conclusion: The majority of physicians indicated that they believe they can adequately estimate patients’ limited life expectancy and that they discuss patients’ preferences for care. However, more physicians should be trained in communicating about patients’ poor prognosis and care preferences.
This study aims to extend our knowledge regarding attitudes toward euthanasia. Specifically, the effect of patient’s age and illness type. 123 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups completed the Assessing Right to Die Attitudes (ARDA) questionnaire after reading a patients age (79 vs. 29 year old) and illness type (cancer vs. depression) description. Findings revealed more positive attitudes toward euthanasia when the patient was physically ill, as opposed to mentally ill. Participants’ attitude towards euthanasia was more positive when the patient was elderly. Illness type as a function of the patient’s age did not significantly influence attitudes towards euthanasia. The results of the current study reinforce the individual influence of illness type and of patient age on attitudes toward euthanasia, and suggest additional avenues for further research regarding their combined influence.
Objectives: To describe individual views, wishes, and preferences for end of life care and to report UK anaesthetists' personal perspectives.
Methods: The ‘bigconversations’ questionnaire was developed by modifying an existing framework for end of life discussions. An online cross-sectional survey of UK anaesthetists was then conducted using the questionnaire in January 2019.
Results: The bigconversations questionnaire was validated as measuring the important aspects of end of life care by an expert panel and was found to have moderate test–retest reliability. Responses were received from 760/1913 (40%) of those invited to take part. Overall, 698/760 (92%) of respondents wished to be well informed about their condition and prognosis and 518/760 (68%) wanted to be heavily involved in decision-making about their health. Meanwhile, 639/760 (84%) of respondents would choose to forego treatment aimed at prolonging life should that life be of poor quality. The desire to spend time with family was a theme which arose from the qualitative analysis.
Conclusion: This study provides the first systematic description of UK doctors', specifically anaesthetists', personal preferences for end of life care. Broad trends were identified: to be well informed; to avoid high-intensity medical treatments if terminally unwell; to spend remaining time with family and friends; and to be symptom-free and well cared for. However, a substantial minority expressed different, indeed opposite, opinions. This variation highlights that good quality end of life care must be driven by discussion of an individual's values, wishes, and preferences.
Lockdown measures have had an impact on the stress levels and mental health of parents and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the effect that lockdown has had on paediatric palliative care (PPC) has been poorly investigated. We measured adaptive responses and routine changes in 88 families, by asking parents covered by our PPC Network to complete a telephone questionnaire that was administered by a Network psychologist between 7 and 17 April 2020.
Background: The EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL is a shortened version of the widely used EORTC QLQ-C30. This questionnaire was developed to measure the symptoms and functional health of patients receiving palliative care.
Objective: To enhance clinical interpretability of the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, our aim was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of thresholds for clinical importance developed previously for the QLQ-C30 when applied to the QLQ-C15-PAL scales.
Design: Cross-sectional observational study.
Setting/Subjects: Patients with cancer receiving any type of palliative treatment.
Measurement: Patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL and anchor items on limitations, worries, and need for help for each of the health domains covered by the questionnaire. The anchor items were summarized in a binary criterion for clinical importance to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of the thresholds for clinical importance.
Results: In total, 225 patients participated in the study (mean age 64.5 years). Patients were recruited from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The thresholds for clinical importance for the QLQ-C15-PAL scales showed a median sensitivity of 0.88 (range: 0.82 for sleep disturbances to 1.00 for dyspnea) and a median specificity of 0.74 (range: 0.54 for dyspnea to 0.89 for constipation).
Conclusion: The thresholds for clinical importance showed high sensitivity and mostly high specificity in identifying clinically important symptoms and functional health impairments as assessed by the QLQ-C15-PAL. These thresholds will facilitate interpretation of EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL scores in daily clinical practice and clinical research.
Context: In most jurisdictions where medical-aid-in-dying (MAiD) is available, this option is reserved for individuals suffering from incurable physical conditions. Currently, in Canada, people who have a mental illness are legally excluded from accessing MAiD.
Methods: We developed a questionnaire for mental health care providers to better understand their perspectives related to ethical issues in relation to MAiD in the context of severe and persistent suffering caused by mental illness. We used a mixed-methods survey approach, using a concurrent embedded model with both closed and open-ended questions.
Findings: 477 healthcare providers from the province of Québec (Canada) completed the questionnaire. One third of the sample (34.4%) were nurses, one quarter psychologists (24.3%) and one quarter psycho-educators (24%). Nearly half of the respondents (48.4%) considered that people with a severe mental illness should be granted the right to opt for MAiD as a way to end their suffering. Respondents were more likely to feel comfortable listening to the person and participating in discussions related to MAiD for a mental illness than offering care or the means for the person to access MAiD. Most (86.2%) reported that they had not received adequate/sufficient training, education or preparation in order to address ethical questions surrounding MAiD.
Conclusions: The findings highlight how extending MAiD to people with a mental illness would affect daily practices for mental healthcare providers who work directly with people who may request MAiD. The survey results also reinforce the need for adequate training and professional education in this complex area of care.
BACKGROUND: Palliative and end-of-life care development is hindered by a lack of information about the circumstances surrounding dying in developing and resource-poor countries. Our aims were to develop and obtain face and content validity for a self-administered questionnaire on end-of-life care provision and medical decision-making for use in population-based surveys.
METHODS: Modelled on validated questionnaires from research in developed countries, our questionnaire was adapted to the cultural sensitivity and medico-legal context of Trinidad and Tobago. Two sets of semi-structured face-to-face cognitive interviews were done with a sample of physicians, sampling was purposive. Phase 1 assessed interpretation of the questions, terminology and content of the questionnaire. Phase 2 was tested on a heterogeneous group of physicians to identify and fix problematic questions or recurring issues. Adjustments were made incrementally and re-tested in successive interviews.
RESULTS: Eighteen physicians were interviewed nationwide. Adaptations to questionnaires used in developed countries included: addition of a definition of palliative care, change of sensitive words like expedited to influenced, adjustments to question formulations, follow-up questions and answer options on medications used were added, the sequence, title and layout were changed and instructions for completion were included at the beginning of the questionnaire.
CONCLUSION: A new instrument for assessing and documenting end-of-life care and circumstances of dying in a small, resource-poor Caribbean country was developed and validated, and can be readily used as a mortality follow-back instrument. Our methods and procedures of development can be applied as a guide for similar studies in other small developing countries.
AIMS: To test the feasibility of surveying bereaved next-of-kin in the South Island about their perceptions of end-of-life care for people over 18 years of age; to report results; and to identify issues for future research.
METHOD: The study used the VOICES (Views of Informal Carers Evaluation of Services) questionnaire from the UK, adapted for use in Aotearoa New Zealand. Identification of next-of-kin for all South Island deaths September-November 2017 was undertaken by a commercial firm specialising in such work. Addresses of next-of-kin were sought from the Electoral Roll, with 1,813 eligible people identified and 272 (15.0%) next-of-kin unable to be traced. Surveys were posted out once only, with options to complete by mail, online, by telephone or with a face-to-face interview.
RESULTS: Of the 1,541 surveys distributed, 514 (33.4%) were completed. Results confirmed the suitability of the locally modified VOICES instrument and research process. The quality of care overall was rated most highly in hospice or own home, but only a minority were able to die in these settings. Nevertheless, relatives indicated that most people died 'in the best place'.
CONCLUSIONS: The VOICES questionnaire is acceptable to respondents and there are viable methods for seeking a population sample. Aspects of the questionnaire require modification before wider use. The information obtained can help district health boards, hospices other healthcare providers, and consumers in planning for end-of-life care.
BACKGROUND: Studies have shown gaps in prognostic understanding among patients with cancer. However, few studies have explored patients' perceptions of their treatment goals versus how they perceive their oncologist's goals, and the association of these views with their psychological distress.
METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 559 patients with incurable lung, gastrointestinal, breast, and brain cancers. The Prognosis and Treatment Perception Questionnaire was used to assess patients' reports of their treatment goal and their oncologist's treatment goal, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess patients' psychological symptoms.
RESULTS: We found that 61.7% of patients reported that both their treatment goal and their oncologist's treatment goal were noncurative, whereas 19.3% reported that both their goal and their oncologist's goal were to cure their cancer, 13.9% reported that their goal was to cure their cancer whereas their oncologist's goal was noncurative, and 5% reported that their goal was noncurative whereas their oncologist's goal was curative. Patients who reported both their goal and their oncologist's goal as noncurative had higher levels of depression (B=0.99; P=.021) and anxiety symptoms (B=1.01; P=.015) compared with those who reported that both their goal and their oncologist's goal was curative. Patients with discordant perceptions of their goal and their oncologist's goal reported higher anxiety symptoms (B=1.47; P=.004) compared with those who reported that both their goal and their oncologist's goal were curative.
CONCLUSIONS: One-fifth of patients with incurable cancer reported that both their treatment goal and their oncologist's goal were to cure their cancer. Patients who acknowledged the noncurative intent of their treatment and those who perceived that their treatment goal was discordant from that of their oncologist reported greater psychological distress.
Purpose: Patients' views on quality are important to improve person-centered palliative care. There is a lack of short, validated instruments incorporating patients' perspectives of the multidisciplinary palliative care services. The aim of this study was to develop a short form of the instrument Quality from the Patient's Perspective for Palliative Care (QPP-PC) and to describe and compare patients' perceptions of the subjective importance (SI) of care aspects and their perceptions of care received (PR).
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Norway including 128 patients (67% response rate) in four palliative care contexts. The QPP-PC, based on a person-centered theoretical framework, incorporating the multidisciplinary palliative care, comprises 4 dimensions; medical-technical competence, physical-technical conditions, identity-oriented approach and sociocultural atmosphere, 12 factors (49 items) and 3 single items. The instrument measures SI and PR. Development of the short form of the QPP-PC was inspired by previously published methodological guidelines. Descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, confirmatory factor analysis and Cronbach's a were used.
Results: The short form of QPP-PC consists of 4 dimensions, 20 items and 4 single items. Psychometric evaluation showed a root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA) value of 0.109 (SI). Cronbach's a values ranged between 0.64 and 0.85 for most dimensions on SI scales. Scores on SI and PR scales were mostly high. Significantly higher scores for SI than PR were present for the identity-oriented approach dimension, especially on items about information.
Conclusion: RMSEA value was slightly above the recommended level. Cronbach's a was acceptable for most dimensions. The short form of QPP-PC shows promising results and may be used with caution as an indicator of person-centered patient-reported experience measures evaluating the multidisciplinary palliative care for patients in a late palliative phase. However, the short version of QPP-PC needs to be further validated using new samples of patients.
Background: The assessment of patients’ quality of life (QOL) is essential when evaluating the outcome of palliative care; however, no instruments have been validated for measuring symptoms and QOL in patients receiving palliative care in Chile. We aimed to investigate the content validity of the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative Care (QLQ-C15-PAL), replicating the methods used previously to shorten the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) for use among patients in palliative care.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from October to November 2017 in four palliative care services. Patients with advanced cancer and health care professionals (HCPs) were invited to individual interviews to determine the relevance, appropriateness and relative importance of the 30 items of the QLQ-C30 for evaluating the outcome of palliative care, and whether relevant additional issues should be included.
Results: A total of 48 patients and 35 HCPs participated. The most important dimensions selected were pain, physical functioning, sleeping difficulties, emotional functioning, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, social functioning, lack of appetite, role functioning and constipation. Qualitative data identified important additional issues not covered by the questionnaire such as satisfaction with care, emotions and psychological support, as well as linguistic issues in the dyspnea and constipation items.
Conclusions: The EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL showed good content validity in the assessment of symptoms and QOL of advanced cancer patients; therefore, we recommend the use of this questionnaire in palliative care in Chile. Dyspnea and constipation items were revised by the EORTC group. More research is needed to add a social dimension for a comprehensive assessment of patients’ QOL.