The Swedish Register of Palliative Care (SRPC) is a national quality register that collects data about end-of-life care from healthcare providers that care for dying patients. Data are used for quality control and research. Data are mainly collected with an end-of-life questionnaire (ELQ), which is completed by healthcare staff after the death of a patient. A previous validity assessment of the ELQ showed insufficient validity in some items including symptom relief. The aim of this study was to examine the validity of the revised ELQ.
Data from 100 consecutive patients' medical records at two specialised palliative care units were used to complete new ELQs, which were then compared to the ELQ registrations from the SRPC for the same patients. The level of agreement was calculated for each ELQ item. To account for the possibility of the agreement occurring by chance, Cohen's kappa was calculated for suitable items. To examine the extent of registration mistakes when transferring the paper form to the web, the original paper versions of the ELQ filled out at the units were compared to data from the ELQs reported to the SRPC.
Level of agreement between ELQ registrations from the SRPC and the new ELQs based on the medical records varied between 0.55 and 1.00, where 24 items showed level of agreement above 0.80 and 9 items showed level of agreement below 0.80. Cohen's kappa with 95% confidence intervals was calculated for 24 items. The kappa values showed that two items had poor agreement, four fair agreement, 11 moderate agreement, five good agreement and two very good agreement. The level of agreement varied between 0.93 and 1.00 when comparing the ELQ registrations in the SRPC and the paper forms.
The revised ELQ contains more items with high levels of agreement between registrations in the SRPC and notes in the patients' medical records when compared to the previous version. Validating issues around symptom assessment remains a challenge in our model of quality assessment.
To explore family members' supportive interactions in palliative care and the emotional experiences that they associate with these interactions.
Qualitative individual interviews were performed with bereaved family members recruited from an urban palliative care service in Sweden. The interviews were analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis.
Five categories of supportive interactions with staff members were linked with emotional consequences: informational support, supportive encounters, professional focus of staff, a supportive environment, and bereavement support. Having a dialogue with family members nurtured certainty and security, supportive encounters gave a warm and comforting feeling, and bereavement support contributed to feelings of strength. Environmental factors contributed to dignity.
Supportive interactions with staff and within a home-like environment help to build resilience if tailored to the family member's own needs.
Despite high frequencies of multiple, life-limiting conditions relating to palliative care needs, people who are homeless are one of the most underserved and rarely encountered groups in palliative care settings. Instead, they often die in care places where palliative competence is not available. In this qualitative single-case study, we explored the conditions and practices of palliative care from the perspective of staff at a Swedish support home for homeless people. Interpretive description guided the research process, and data were generated from repeated reflective conversations with staff in groups, individually, and in pairs. The findings disclose a person-centered approach to palliative care, grounded in the understanding of the person's health/illness and health literacy, and how this is related to and determinant on life as a homeless individual. Four patterns shape this approach: building trustful and family-like relationships, re-dignifying the person, re-considering communication about illness and dying, and re-defining flexible and pragmatic care solutions.