Patient reported outcome measurement plays an increasingly important role in palliative care and is used in clinical care (e.g. assessing symptoms and needs of patients), audit (quality assurance of services) and research (e.g. study the effectiveness of an intervention). Hundreds of generic outcome measures and specific symptom measures exist for patients in the palliative care situation. Although initiatives were started over the last decade to improve outcome measurement in palliative care, a clear roadmap or uniform approach to measuring outcomes is lacking. As palliative care services increasingly need to justify their existence and show their quality, documentation of outcomes is paramount.
Various international and national groups, such as the PRISMA group, the EPCRC, PCOC in Australia or the German outcome project are dealing with outcome measurement in palliative care. An EAPC taskforce could help to bring these groups together and move efforts forward to improve outcome measurement in palliative care on a European and wider international level. As there are various links to the African Palliative Care Association APCA (within PRISMA, EAPC) we would like to invite two colleagues from Africa to participate in the task force. Also, contacts already exist to colleagues in the US and Australia who are involved in moving the topic forward in their countries.