Measure Scan and Synthesis of Palliative and End-of-Life Process Quality Measures for Advanced Cancer

Claire E. O'Hanlon, Charlotta Lindvall, Karl A. Lorenz, Karleen F. Giannitrapani, Melissa Garrido, Steven M. Asch, Neil Wenger, Jennifer Malin, Sydney Morss Dy, Mark Canning, Raziel C. Gamboa, Anne M. Walling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Monitoring and improving the quality of palliative and end-of-life cancer care remain pressing needs in the United States. Among existing measures that assess the quality of palliative and end-of-life care, many operationalize similar concepts. We identified existing palliative care process measures and synthesized these measures to aid stakeholder prioritization that will facilitate health system implementation in patients with advanced cancer. METHODS: We reviewed MEDLINE/PubMed-indexed articles for process quality measures related to palliative and end-of-life care for patients with advanced cancer, supplemented by expert input. Measures were inductively grouped into "measure concepts" and higher-level groups. RESULTS: Literature review identified 226 unique measures from 23 measure sources, which we grouped into 64 measure concepts within 12 groups. Groups were advance care planning (11 measure concepts), pain (7), dyspnea (9), palliative care-specific issues (6), other specific symptoms (17), comprehensive assessment (2), symptom assessment (1), hospice/palliative care referral (1), spiritual care (2), mental health (5), information provision (2), and culturally appropriate care (1). CONCLUSION: Measure concepts covered the spectrum of care from acute symptom management to advance care planning and psychosocial needs, with variability in the number of measure concepts per group. This taxonomy of process quality measure concepts can be used by health systems seeking stakeholder input to prioritize targets for improving palliative and end-of-life care quality in patients with advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e140-e148
JournalJCO Oncology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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