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Aslakson RA, Dy SM, Wilson RF, Waldfogel J, Zhang A, Isenberg SR, Blair A, Sixon J, Lorenz KA, Robinson KA. Patient- and Caregiver-Reported Assessment Tools for Palliative Care: Summary of the 2017 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Technical Brief. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2017 Dec 1; 54(6):961-972.e16.
CONTEXT: Assessment tools are data collection instruments that are completed by or with patients or caregivers and which collect data at the individual patient or caregiver level. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to 1) summarize palliative care assessment tools completed by or with patients or caregivers and 2) identify needs for future tool development and evaluation. METHODS: We completed 1) a systematic review of systematic reviews; 2) a supplemental search of previous reviews and Web sites, and/or 3) a targeted search for primary articles when no tools existed in a domain. Paired investigators screened search results, assessed risk of bias, and abstracted data. We organized tools by domains from the National Consensus Project Clinical Practice Guidelines for Palliative Care and selected the most relevant, recent, and highest quality systematic review for each domain. RESULTS: We included 10 systematic reviews and identified 152 tools (97 from systematic reviews and 55 from supplemental sources). Key gaps included no systematic review for pain and few tools assessing structural, cultural, spiritual, or ethical/legal domains, or patient-reported experience with end-of-life care. Psychometric information was available for many tools, but few studies evaluated responsiveness (sensitivity to change) and no studies compared tools. CONCLUSION: Few to no tools address the spiritual, ethical, or cultural domains or patient-reported experience with end-of-life care. While some data exist on psychometric properties of tools, the responsiveness of different tools to change and/or comparisons between tools have not been evaluated. Future research should focus on developing or testing tools that address domains for which few tools exist, evaluating responsiveness, and comparing tools.