Background More and more people are living with chronic disease near the end of their life, therefore palliative care needs are increasing. Outcome measurement has a major role to play in improving the quality, efficiency and availability of palliative care.
Aim To capture what patients think about the impact of care on quality of life and their major concerns and on key symptoms.
Method Patients were invited to participate in a 6-month pilot using the St Christopher’s Index of Patient Priorities (SKIPP) questionnaire within the Hospice, Day Care and Community Macmillan Nurse Team.
Data was collected and analysed using the recognised tool from St Christopher’s Hospice.
Results Findings from this pilot would suggest that patients did benefit from input from the Hospice, Day Care or Community Macmillan Nurse Team and identified a positive shift in how things were going for patients over a period of time. Though the number of patients was small and there were some patients who were unable to complete the questionnaire in full, there was still significant evidence to suggest a positive impact on patients’ quality of life, key symptoms and major concerns.
Discussion It is recognised that obtaining valid and reliable measurement of the outcomes achieved by palliative care for patients is extremely challenging often because patients are too ill or because of fluctuating and changing needs. However the questionnaire takes account of response shift, a well known phenomenon in which a persons’ perception of subjective sensations can change over time.
Conclusion Having a tool such as SKIPP has been deemed a very useful way of evaluating the impact three areas within Specialist Palliative Care have on a patients quality of life, key symptoms and major concerns. It is planned to repeat this exercise again for a 6 month period.
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