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IDentification Of Patients In Need Of General And Specialised PALLiative Care (ID-PALL©): Item Generation, Content And Face Validity Of A New Interprofessional Screening Instrument

Fabienne Teike Lüthi, Mathieu Bernard, Michel Beauverd, Claudia Gamondi, Anne-Sylvie Ramelet, Gian Domenico Borasio

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Abstract Background Early identification of patients requiring palliative care is a major public health concern. A growing number of instruments exist to help professionals to identify these patients, however, thus far, none have been thoroughly assessed for criterion validity. In addition, no currently available instruments differentiate between patients in need of general vs. specialised palliative care, and most are primarily intended for use by physicians. This study aims to develop and rigorously validate a new interprofessional instrument allowing identification of patients in need of general vs specialised palliative care. Methods The instrument development involved four steps: i) literature review to determine the concept to measure; ii) generation of a set of items; iii) review of the initial set of items by experts to establish the content validity; iv) administration of the items to a sample of the target population to establish face validity. We conducted a Delphi process with experts in palliative care to accomplish step 3 and sent a questionnaire to nurses and physicians non-specialised in palliative care to complete step 4. The study was conducted in the French and Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland. An interdisciplinary committee of clinical experts supervised all steps. Results The literature review confirmed the necessity of distinguishing between general and specialised palliative care needs and of adapting clinical recommendations to these different needs. Thirty-six nurses and physicians participated in the Delphi process and 28 were involved in the face validity assessment. The Delphi process resulted in two lists: a 7-item list to identify patients in need of general PC and an 8-item list to identify specialised PC needs. The content and face validity were deemed to be acceptable by both the expert and target populations. Conclusion This instrument makes a significant contribution to the identification of patients with palliative care needs as it has been designed to differentiate between general and specialised palliative care needs. Moreover, diagnostic data is not fundamental to the use of the instrument, thus facilitating its use by healthcare professionals other than physicians, in particular nurses. Internal and criterion validity assessments are ongoing and essential before wider dissemination of the instrument.