Is it feasible and desirable to collect voluntarily quality and outcome data nationally in palliative oncology care?

Currow, David C., Eagar, Kathy, Aoun, Samar, Fildes, Dave, Yates, Patsy, & Kristjanson, Linda J. (2008) Is it feasible and desirable to collect voluntarily quality and outcome data nationally in palliative oncology care? Journal of Clinical Oncology, 26(23), pp. 3853-3859.

View at publisher


Hospice/palliative care is a critical component of cancer care. In Australia, more than 85% of people referred to specialized hospice/palliative care services (SHPCS) have a primary diagnosis of cancer, and 60% of people who die from cancer will be referred to SHPCS. The Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is an Australian initiative that allows SHPCS to collect nationally agreed-upon measures to better understand quality, safety, and outcomes of care. This article describes data (October 2006 through September 2007) from the first 22 SHPCS, with more than 100 inpatient admissions annually. Data include phase of illness, place of discharge, and, at each transition in place of care, the person's functional status, dependency, and symptom scores. Data are available for 5,395 people for 6,379 admissions. After categorizing by phase of illness and dependency, there remain at the end of each admission 12-fold differences (mean, 26%; range, 4% to 52%) in the percentage of patients who became stable after an unstable phase; seven-fold differences (mean, 22%; range, 6% to 41%) in the percentage of patients with improved symptom scores, five-fold differences (mean, 25%; range, 12% to 64%) in discharge back to the community, four-fold differences (mean, 10%; range, 4% to 16%) in improved function, and three-fold differences in the length of stay (mean, 14 days; range, 6 to 19 days). PCOC shows it is feasible to collect quality national palliative care outcome data voluntarily. Variations in outcomes justify continued enrollment of services. Benchmarking should include all patients whose cancer will cause death and explore observed variations.

Impact and interest:

42 citations in Scopus
34 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 18001
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Palliative care, Outcome measurement
DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2008.16.5761
ISSN: 0732-183X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 14 May 2009 22:48
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:47

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page