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Routine assessment of the perceived healthcare needs of older adults with advancing and life-limiting illnesses is necessary to ensure that patients’ and family caregivers’ concerns are visible to healthcare professionals, so that they can be effectively monitored and addressed.
These types of assessments involve asking people to respond to questions about their symptoms, their physical, psychological, social and existential/spiritual well being and their experiences with health care. Handheld electronic systems are increasingly used and recommended to facilitate such QOL assessments. However, it is often unclear how to best implement these systems to facilitate uptake in practice. In addition, there is a need for information about the potential of such systems to improve patient- and family-centered outcomes.
This project involved working with clinicians, patients and family caregivers and addressed the aforementioned issues through the integration into practice and evaluation of an innovative electronic QOL Assessment and Practice Support System (QPSS) in palliative homecare nursing.
Richard Sawatzky, PhD, RN holds a Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Outcomes at Trinity Western University (TWU) and is the Lead on Patient-Reported Outcomes at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) at Providence Health Care in British Columbia. Dr. Sawatzky has been a faculty member at TWU since 2002 and currently teaches courses on knowledge synthesis and quantitative research methods in the Master of Science in Nursing program. He leads a program of research that focuses on the validation and use of person-centred health outcomes measurement and quality of life assessment, with a particular emphasis on integrating a palliative approach to care for people who have chronic life-limiting illnesses.
Marian Krawczyk, PhD is a medical anthropologist interested in all aspects of death, dying and institutionalized end of life care. She is a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, with The End of Life Studies Group, at the University of Glasgow. Prior to this she held a joint post-doctoral position with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences and Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. She is also a past Canadian Frailty Network interdisciplinary fellow. In addition to end of life care, her interests include clinical practice change, hospital ethnography, cultural constructions of suffering, research ethics, experimental methodologies and the history of palliative hospice care.