Introduction Palliative care day services (PCDS) is a popular if variable palliative intervention provided on a routine basis in many hospices.
Aim and method To understand PCDS within Marie Curie hospices we set out to identify the structure process and outcome associated with the service. We present preliminary data on quality of life from the Edinburgh service. A prospective cohort design was used to describe outcomes over an eight-week period. Attendance was recorded. Participants were invited to complete a set of questionnaires to assess quality of life at baseline four weeks and eight weeks post-baseline. Patient assessment involved completion of questionnaires covering physical and emotional health quality of life and wellbeing. The primary outcome measure was QoL as assessed by the McGill Quality of Life scale.
Results Over a nine-week period at one day hospice nine patients and five carers consented to participate. Of the nine patients eight were assessed at four-weeks post baseline (one patient was in hospital); seven patients were assessed at eight weeks post-baseline (one patient had died; one was unwell). Over the eight-week follow up period the total mean score remained stable. The single item quality of life score increased a little (as has quality of health care and environment) whilst symptoms worsened as might be expected in this population.
Conclusion Day services may sustain quality of life in spite of deteriorating health. Further data collection from two other sites is underway to enhance sample size.
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