UK consensus project on quality in palliative day services: developing a quality indicator set using the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method

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Evaluating quality of palliative day services is essential for assessing care across diverse settings, and for monitoring quality improvement approaches.


To develop a set of quality indicators for assessment of all aspects (structure, process and outcome) of care in palliative day services.


Using a modified version of the RAND/UCLA appropriateness method (Fitch et al., 2001), a multidisciplinary panel of 16 experts independently completed a survey rating the appropriateness of 182 potential quality indicators previously identified during a systematic evidence review. Panel members then attended a one day, face-to-face meeting where indicators were discussed and subsequently re-rated. Panel members were also asked to rate the feasibility and necessity of measuring each indicator.


71 indicators classified as inappropriate during the survey were removed based on median appropriateness ratings and level of agreement. Following the panel discussions, a further 60 were removed based on appropriateness and feasibility ratings, level of agreement and assessment of necessity. Themes identified during the panel discussion and findings of the evidence review were used to translate the remaining 51 indicators into a final set of 27.


The final indicator set included information on rationale and supporting evidence, methods of assessment, risk adjustment, and recommended performance levels. Further implementation work will test the suitability of this ‘toolkit’ for measurement and benchmarking. The final indicator set provides the basis for standardised assessment of quality across services, including care delivered in community and primary care settings.

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