Assessing the quality of community-based palliative care: Perspectives from families, decision makers and researchers
ABSTRACT: Canada does not have a standardized method of collecting information to assess the quality of palliative cares (PC). In this presentation, the preliminary results of a three-year project to develop and test a set of quality indicators (QIs) for community-based PC will be shared. Based on interviews with nine caregivers and 11 decision makers (from Yukon Territory, Alberta, BC, Ontario, and Nova Scotia) and current literature, a list of 27 preliminary QIs was created. An expert panel of 21 clinicians, decision-makers and researchers evaluated each QI across several criteria. Preliminary results indicate agreement on including QIs that address the needs/wishes of the patient ensuring the family feel supported, and including the caregiver as part of the PC team. While there is consensus about including QIs that relate to physical signs/symptoms (e.g., pain, shortness of breath and nausea), there is less clear consensus regarding spiritual/existential QIs, such as “having difficulty with the meaning of life” and “a wish to die now”. In the next phase of the project, these QIs will be refined and tested across multiple regions of Canada.