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Issues in Palliative Care Research$
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Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.001.0001

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Assessing Quality of Life in Palliative Care

Assessing Quality of Life in Palliative Care

(p.231) 15 Assessing Quality of Life in Palliative Care
Issues in Palliative Care Research

Russell K. Portenoy

Eduardo Bruera

Oxford University Press

Palliative care providers who wish to evaluate the full impact of their care must measure changes in quality of life (QOL) as well as improvements in areas specifically targeted by particular interventions such as pain and depression. Since palliative care considers the family as the unit of care, patient QOL, family member QOL, and the QOL of the family unit are all primary outcomes of palliative care. This chapter suggests that the best indicator of the quality of whole-person care is the QOL of the care recipient. The importance of measuring QOL has been widely recognized in the health care literature in the last two decades. Unfortunately, this has led to a great pressure to measure QOL at all phases of cancer and HIV disease, even though the measures are not adequately developed to show primary outcomes.

Keywords:   quality of life, health care, family, patient care, cancer, HIV

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