COSMIN database

Patient reported outcome measures for measuring dignity in palliative and end of life care: a scoping review

Johnston, B., Flemming, K., Narayanasamy, M. J., Coole, C., and Hardy, B.
BACKGROUND: Patient reported outcome measures are frequently used standard questionnaires or tools designed to collect information from patients regarding their health status and care. Their use enables accurate and relevant insight into changes in health, quality of life, and symptom severity to be acquired. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify PROMs that had been subject to rigorous development and were suitable for use in palliative and end of life care for clinical practice and/or research purposes. The review had a specific focus on measures which could be used to assess perceptions of dignity in these contexts.

METHODS: A scoping review of English-language papers published between 2005 and 2015. Searches were devised in conjunction with an information science specialist and were undertaken in Medline; PsycINFO; EMBASE; CINAHL; Social Science Citation Index; ASSIA; CENTRAL; CDSR; DARE; HTA; Oxford PROM Bibliography; PROQOLID, using dignity related terms such as personhood; dignity or dignified; patient-centred care; which were linked (via the Boolean operator "AND") to care-related terms such as terminal care; hospice care; palliative care; end of life. Papers were assessed against inclusion criteria and appraised for quality.

RESULTS: The search strategy produced an initial 7845 articles. After three rounds of eligibility assessment, eight articles discussing eight patients reported outcome measures were found to meet the inclusion criteria and were included in the final review. These underwent a thorough critical appraisal process. All seven studies were empirical research focused on the development and testing of a PROM.

CONCLUSIONS: The eight patient reported outcome measures had all undergone some psychometric testing, and covered dignity aspects suggesting that they could be considered for use for research purposes to assess dignity. There were also indications that some could be implemented into a clinical setting. However, each measure had limitations and scope for further development.
BMC Health Serv Res
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Cognitive/mental state
Emotional state
Physical state
Functional status:
Social functioning
General health perceptions / HRQoL:
Health-related quality of life
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Factors influencing health status and contact with health services
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews