Background Collection of outcome measures within hospice services is challenging due to the varied conditions and diverse trajectories patients follow. Within The Spring Centre there was no standardised outcome measure in place and therefore no consistent validated evaluation of the impact of services on the health and wellbeing of patients.
Aim To assess if the Wellbeing Star is a viable outcome measure tool to evaluate the impact of out-patient services within The Spring Centre on patients’ health and wellbeing.
Method Following recommendation from West Hertfordshire Macmillan Wellbeing and Rehabilitation Project and extensive review of literature and similar services, the Wellbeing Star, a validated and well researched measure, was deemed to be the best potential tool for our patients. After funding by Macmillan, formal training was undertaken and Star licences obtained. Wellbeing Stars are completed at first assessment with further reviews at three months and nine months (or as near to these dates as possible). This is an ongoing evaluation.
Results 27 patients’ data was analysed.
An increase in all points of the Star was noted.
The greatest improvements were in ‘Feeling positive’, ‘Managing your symptoms’, ‘Your lifestyle’ (59%, 56%, 56%).
The smallest improvements were in ‘Money’, ‘Where you live’ (22%, 26%).
Conclusions Using the Wellbeing Star has been beneficial in embedding a measure within our practice, showing a positive impact of services on patients. Some limitations are evident and timing of reviews is challenging with the demographics of patients using services. We remain undecided on its appropriateness as deterioration due to disease rather than the services not meeting needs is not illustrated. We will continue to collect data for a further nine months and then assess if it adequately meets the needs of hospice out-patient services. The cost of using the Wellbeing Star will also need to be considered.
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