Identifying models of delivery, care domains and quality indicators relevant to palliative day services: a scoping review protoco

Sean O'Connor, Martin Dempster, Noleen K. McCorry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


Background: With an ageing population and increasing numbers of people with life-limiting illness, there is a growing demand for palliative day services. There is a need to measure and demonstrate the quality of these services, but there is currently little agreement on which aspects of care should be used to do this. The aim of the scoping review will be to map the extent, range and nature of the evidence around models of delivery, care domains and existing quality indicators used to evaluate palliative day services.

Methods: Electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) will be searched for evidence using consensus development methods; randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials; mixed methods; and prospective, longitudinal or retrospective case-control studies to develop or test quality indicators for evaluating palliative care within non-residential settings, including day hospices and community or primary care settings. At least two researchers will independently conduct all searches, study selection and data abstraction procedures. Meta-analyses and statistical methods of synthesis are not planned aspart of the review. Results will be reported using numerical counts, including number of indicators in each care domain and by using qualitative approach to describe important indicator characteristics. A conceptual model will also be developed to summarise the impact of different aspects of quality in a palliative day service context. Methodological quality relating to indicator development will be assessed using the Appraisal of Indicators through Research and Evaluation (AIRE) tool. Overall strength of evidence will be assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Final decisions on quality assessment will be made via consensus between review authors.

Discussion: Identifying, developing and implementing evidence-based quality indicators is critical to the evaluation and continued improvement of palliative care. Review findings will be used to support clinicians and policymakers make decisions on which quality indicators are most appropriate for evaluating day services at the patient and service level, and to identify areas for further research.  
Original languageEnglish
Article number100 (2017)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSystematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 16 May 2017


  • Palliative care
  • Quality indicators
  • Quality improvement
  • Systematic review


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