The PRISMA project (Reflecting the Positive DiveRsities of European PrIorities for ReSearch and Measurement in End-of-Life CAre), funded within the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme, aims to inform best practice and harmonise research and outcome measurement in end-of-life care across Europe.
More and more people are living with a chronic disease near the end of their life, in Europe as well as the rest of the world. Palliative care needs are therefore increasing, and they are also becoming more complex because of the range of illnesses patients are suffering from. Furthermore, the integration of palliative care within the healthcare system, and across countries, varies greatly, which adds to the challenge of providing high-quality palliative care.
Outcome measurement has a major role to play in improving the quality, efficiency and availability of palliative care. Measuring changes in a patient’s health over time, and finding out the reasons for those changes, can help service providers focus on learning and improving the quality of services. Outcome measures, specifically Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), are tools that can effectively be used in palliative care to assess and monitor care, either for individual patients, or across populations. Outcome measures put the patient at the centre of care and focus on what matters to them.
There is an extensive range of different types of outcome measures, for use in clinical care, audit and research, and it can be difficult to know which to choose and how to effectively use them. This guidance will give palliative care clinicians information about what outcome measurement is and how it can be used to improve care; and guidance on choosing and using outcome measures. This booklet will be useful for anyone working with those requiring palliative care, including nurses, doctors, psychologists, social workers, those providing spiritual care and therapists. It has been published under the Auspices of the EAPC.
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