Background Outcome measures are designed to capture changes in health status as a consequence of clinical interventions (Witt, de Wolf-Linder, Dawkins et al., 2015). Measuring outcomes in palliative care can be challenging due to the progressive nature of the diseases people accessing services have. The OACC suite of outcome measures (Witt, de Wolf-Linder, Dawkins et al., 2015)has been in use in Day Therapy since 2015, in particular the Integrated Palliative Care Outcome Scale (IPOS) (https://pos-pal.org/).
Aims To audit the use of IPOS outcome measures in a day therapy setting. To assess the differences in reported IPOS scores between cancer and non-cancer patients. To evaluate any changes in IPOS scores between the beginning and end of Day Therapy sessions.
Methods A retrospective audit of the data all patients attending day therapy between March 2017 and January 2018 was completed and the following data was extracted from an electronic patient record database:
IPOS scores recorded for all Day Therapy attendances
Dates of all Day Therapy attendances.
These data were then analysed using Excel spreadsheets.
Results Between March 2017 and January 2018:
600 IPOS measures were completed by 112 different patients
53% of patients had a non–cancer diagnosis
28% of IPOS had one or more values missing
The mean total IPOS score for cancer patients was 22.9
The mean total IPOS score for non–cancer patients was 29.1
Improvements were seen over time in all psychosocial, spiritual and practical domains of the IPOS
Scores on the physical domains were maintained over time.
Conclusion A significant proportion of IPOS were not fully completed. Non-cancer patients scored on average higher than the cancer patients. Day Therapy appears to have a positive impact on psychosocial domains and maintains physical symptoms, which may be surprising given the progressive nature of the diseases those attending have. Methods to ensure completion of IPOS need to be identified.
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