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Murtagh, Fliss E. M.; Ramsenthaler, Christina; Firth, Alice; Groeneveld, Esther I.; Lovell, Natasha; Simon, Steffen T.; Denzel, Johannes; Guo, Ping; Bernhardt, Florian; Schildmann, Eva; van Oorschot, Birgitt; Hodiamont, Farina; Streitwieser, Sabine; Higginson, Irene J.; Bausewein, Claudia (2019): A brief, patient- and proxy-reported outcome measure in advanced illness: Validity, reliability and responsiveness of the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS). In: Palliative Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 8: pp. 1045-1057
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Abstract

Background: Few measures capture the complex symptoms and concerns of those receiving palliative care. Aim: To validate the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale, a measure underpinned by extensive psychometric development, by evaluating its validity, reliability and responsiveness to change. Design: Concurrent, cross-cultural validation study of the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale - both (1) patient self-report and (2) staff proxy-report versions. We tested construct validity (factor analysis, known-group comparisons, and correlational analysis), reliability (internal consistency, agreement, and test-retest reliability), and responsiveness (through longitudinal evaluation of change). Setting/participants: In all, 376 adults receiving palliative care, and 161 clinicians, from a range of settings in the United Kingdom and Germany Results: We confirm a three-factor structure (Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms and Communication/Practical Issues). Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale shows strong ability to distinguish between clinically relevant groups;total Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale and Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale subscale scores were higher - reflecting more problems - in those patients with 'unstable' or 'deteriorating' versus 'stable' Phase of Illness (F = 15.1, p < 0.001). Good convergent and discriminant validity to hypothesised items and subscales of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General is demonstrated. The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale shows good internal consistency (alpha = 0.77) and acceptable to good test-retest reliability (60% of items k(w) > 0.60). Longitudinal validity in form of responsiveness to change is good. Conclusion: The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale is a valid and reliable outcome measure, both in patient self-report and staff proxy-report versions. It can assess and monitor symptoms and concerns in advanced illness, determine the impact of healthcare interventions, and demonstrate quality of care. This represents a major step forward internationally for palliative care outcome measurement.