New Questionnaire Developed to Assess the Quality of Palliative Cancer Care
Recent efforts to develop and validate a patient-reported assessment of the quality of palliative cancer care have been successful.
Limited assessment tools exist that focus on the quality of care in patients receiving palliative care for cancer. Furthermore, most of the palliative care assessment tools developed thus far only measure the quality of life patients without regard to the quality of care being administered.
A group of researchers from Korea aimed to develop and validate a new instrument to assess quality of palliative care. Development of a patient questionnaire was based on the available literature; researchers constructed a list of items from 104 quality care issues divided into 14 subscales. Utilizing relevance and feasibility criteria as well as pilot testing, researchers developed a 44-item questionnaire, which they called the Quality Care Questionnaire-Palliative Care (QCQ-PC). The survey covers appropriate communication with health care professionals, discusses value of life and goals of care, considers support and counseling for needs of holistic care, and concludes with accessibility and sustainability of care prompts.
To assess the sensitivity and validity of the QCQ-PC questionnaire , a total of 220 patients were recruited who were over 18 years of age from three Korean hospitals.
Results of the assessment showed that all subscales and total scores showed a high internal consistency, while multi-trait scaling analysis showed a good convergent (0.57-0.99) and discriminant (0.47-0.87) validity.
Additionally, the researchers observed a correlation between the total and subscale scores of the QCQ-PC questionnaire and those of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core-15 item palliative care (EORTC QLC-C15-PAL), the McGill quality of life questionnaire (MQOL), the Smart management strategy for health assessment tool – short form (SAT-SF), and the Decisional conflict scale (DCS).
Researchers concluded that the QCQ-PC questionnaire can be adopted to assess the quality of care in patients with cancer. Further validation of the QCQ-PC questionnaire is needed, researchers acknowledged.—Zachary Bessette