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A new set of quality indicators for palliative care: process and results of the development trajectory.

Claessen, S.J.J., Francke, A.L., Belarbi, H.E., Pasman, H.R.W., Putten, M.J.A. van der, Deliens, L. A new set of quality indicators for palliative care: process and results of the development trajectory. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management: 2011, 42(2), 169-182
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CONTEXT: In some countries (the United States in particular), quality indicators for palliative care have already been developed. However, these quality indicators often cover one specific setting or target group, for example, palliative cancer care or palliative home care. OBJECTIVES: This article describes the development and initial testing of a set of quality indicators for palliative care, applicable for all settings in which palliative care is being provided for adult patients in the Netherlands. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the first phase of the project, an inventory was made of existing relevant quality indicators. Most quality indicators focused on the process or outcome of palliative care, and quality indicators for the structure of palliative care were rare. Most of the existing quality indicators fall within the domain of physical care, and very few concern the social and spirituals domains of palliative care. In the second phase, a new draft set of quality indicators was developed. In addition to the previous inventory of existing indicators, interviews with patients, relatives, and caregivers provided input for the development of the draft set. Drafts of the set were tested among experts. In the third phase, the feasibility and usability of a draft set was established in 14 Dutch care organizations providing palliative care. CONCLUSION: As a result of these phases, a set of quality indicators for palliative care has been developed, consisting of 33 indicators for palliative patient care and 10 indicators for support for relatives before and/or after the patient's death. (aut. ref.)