APCA Members


Not registered?

Forgot Your Password?

Incorrect login or password


Saturday, 4th December 2021
Palliative Care Outcome measures for person centred care

Person centred outcomes should be part of the indicators used in the assessment of quality and effectiveness of palliative care services. By including the subjective experience, and engaging patients and families in decisions related to how their care should be delivered, we achieve better understanding of needs, greater consensus on treatment plans, better outcomes and satisfaction with care. To scale up the use of person centred outcomes in care, APCA shares a series of existing palliative care outcome measures and accompanying users’ guidelines. The available resources are described below.

The African Palliative Care Outcome Scale (APCA African POS)  Adult version

The APCA African POS contains 10 items, addressing the physical and psychological symptoms, spiritual, practical and emotional concerns, and psychosocial needs of the patient and family. The answers to all questions are scored using Likert scales from 0 to 5, with numerical and descriptive labels. Questions 1-7 are directed at patients; questions 8-10 are directed at family informal caregivers and include a 'Not applicable' option for use when the patient does not have an informal carer. The African version of the POS is usually staff-completed, owing to varying levels of patient and family literacy. Respondents indicate their answers either verbally or using a hand scale (0 = closed fist, 5 = all fingers open). The responses use a combination of high score = best status and low score = best status as a mechanism to ensure that administration, and response formulation to the individual items, are conducted with due care and attention. The APCA POS has been translated into several African languages, Kiswahili, French and Arabic.

Register here to download the adult version of the APCA POS

The adult APCA POS has been validated in Africa and this reference should be cited to support validity, reliability, acceptability, and responsiveness.

Validation of a core outcome measure for palliative care in Africa: the APCA African Palliative Outcome Scale. Harding R, Selman L, Aguipo G, Dinat N, Downing J, Gwyther L, Mashao T, Mmoledi K, Moll T, Sebuyira LM, Panjatovic B, Higginson IJ. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2010;8(10). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2483665/]

The Integrated African Palliative Care Outcome Scale-IPOS

This version of the APCA POS includes all the content of the APCA POS and an additional selected physical symptom. For each of the symptoms experienced, patients are asked rate the extent to which these symptoms affected them on a scale of 0-5. The IPOS is scored is as described above inclusive of the additional physical symptom items.

Register here to download the adult version of the Integrated APCA POS (ipos)

The Children’s Palliative Care Outcome Scale - APCA C-POS

This is novel 12 item person centred outcome measure for children and young people.  7 of the questions are directed to the child and 5 are directed to the family. The APCA C-POS has self-report and proxy versions, the proxy version is used in the case of non-verbal or young children and those who may not be able to self-report for one reason or the other. Children aged 6/7 and above and are able to self-report can complete the self-report version of the C-POS. Version 2 of the C-POS is available for use but please note that we are in the final stages of improving this version and version 3 will be available soon. Version 3 addresses developmental age issues and includes items on spiritual/existential wellbeing, life values/ goals and addresses concerns around the impact of illness on school attendance for school going children.

Register here to download the version 2 of the APCA Children’s Palliative Care Outcome Scale (C-POS)

Contact info@africanpalliativecare.org for any further questions