Journal article

The use of the Rotterdam symptom checklist in palliative care

Hardy J, Edmonds P, Turner R, Rees E, A'Hern R ...see all

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, vol. 18, issue 2 (1999) pp. 79-84

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The Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), which measures both physical and psychological aspects of quality of life (QOL), was given to all new patients admitted to a palliative care unit who were thought capable of filling out a questionnaire as an outcome measure of symptom control. Assessments were obtained from 52 patients at baseline (week 1). This represented only 53% of the new patients admitted to the unit. Thirty-one patients completed a second questionnaire at week 2, and only 28 patients completed a third (week 3). In these selected patients, the median overall RSCL scores were 57, 52, and 49 at weeks 1, 2, and 3. There was a significant improvement in QOL scores across the three measurements with a significant difference between weeks 1 and 3 (P = 0.05) but not between weeks 1 and 2. Primarily because of the inability of many patients to complete the questionnaire and the high attrition rate, the appropriateness of this tool as a symptom control measure in palliative care patients is questioned.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Palliative care
  • Rotterdam symptom checklist
  • Symptom control

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  • Janet R. Hardy

  • Polly Edmonds

  • Rose Turner

  • Elizabeth Rees

  • Roger A'Hern

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