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Background: In recent years, there have been several studies, using a wide variety of methods, aimed at developing quality indicators for palliative care. In this Quality Indicators for Palliative Care study (Q-PAC study) we have applied a scientifically rigorous method to develop a comprehensive and valid quality indicator set which can contribute to a standardized method for use in other countries. Methods and design. Firstly, an extensive literature review identified existing international quality indicators and relevant themes for measuring quality in palliative care. Secondly, the most relevant of these were selected by an expert panel. Thirdly, those prioritized by the experts were scored by a second multidisciplinary expert panel for usability and relevance, in keeping with the RAND/UCLA-method, combining evidence with consensus among stakeholders. This panel included carers and policymakers as well as patients and next-of-kin. Fourthly, the draft set was tested and evaluated in practice for usability and feasibility; the indicators were then translated into questionnaires presented to patients, next-of-kin and care providers. To encourage the acceptance and use of the indicators, stakeholders, including national palliative care organizations, were involved throughout the whole project. Conclusion: Our indicator development trajectory resulted in a set of quality indicators applicable to all patients in all palliative care settings. The set includes patient and relative perspectives and includes outcome, process and structure indicators. Our method can contribute internationally to a more standardized and rigorous approach to developing quality indicators for palliative care. © 2013 Leemans et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Leemans, K., Cohen, J., Francke, A. L., Stichele, R. V., Claessen, S. J. J., Block, L. V. D., & Deliens, L. (2013). Towards a standardized method of developing quality indicators for palliative care: Protocol of the Quality indicators for Palliative Care (Q-PAC) study. BMC Palliative Care, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-684X-12-6