The imperative of person-centered care requires that the voices of palliative older adults and their families are represented at all levels of health care decision making. Routine assessments of perceived healthcare needs and quality of life (QOL) can make patient and family caregiver concerns more visible to healthcare professionals, so they can be effectively monitored and addressed. These assessments involve asking people about symptoms, physical, psychological and social wellbeing, and their experiences with healthcare. Network investigators Richard Sawatzky and Kara Schick-Makaroff discuss the design and integration into care of an Quality of Life Assessment and Practice Support System (QPSS). Developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals, patients, and family caregivers, QPSS is a tablet-based practice support tool for adaptation by clinicians in multiple care settings (hospital, home care) that assesses health and QOL concerns of older people who have chronic life-limiting illnesses and those of their family caregivers.
Richard Sawatzky PhD, RN, is a reseach scientist with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) at Providence Health Care, and Canada Research Chair in Patient-Reported Outcomes. His clinical background is in palliative care and medical nursing care.
Kara Schick-Makaroff PhD, RN, is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She completed her master’s and PhD at the University of Victoria. Her research interests are centred upon enhancement of quality of life for people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.