Incorporating outcome measures in palliative and end of life care services

South LondonCancer
Start Date: 1 Nov 2015

Incorporating outcome measures in palliative and end of life care services

Making palliative rehabilitation benefit patients

Rehabilitation in palliative care is physiotherapy including exercises or treatments, which helps people to remain active and independent. Many hospices provide rehabilitation services, but there is little evidence to show how this benefits patients, or to understand what type of treatment works best in which situations.

NIHR CLAHRC South London has adopted a study, which aims to identify the needs of people when they start receiving physiotherapy at a hospice. The study will look at how current treatments address their needs, how to find out if a treatment has helped, and whether certain treatments are more likely to be helpful for different people.

How will the study work?

350 people referred to rehabilitation services across leading hospices in London will take part in the study. After initial assessments, patients will work alongside staff to set their own goals for their treatment. The goal could be something as simple as being able to make a drink by themselves, or to walk without a carer’s support.

Researchers will record whether these goals were achieved. They will also report the type of goals people set, how many people achieved their goals following treatment, and if the way that the treatment was provided had an effect on the result. People will benefit by receiving treatments that are specific and relevant to the goal that they want to achieve.

What is the potential impact of the study?

This could also lead to better communication between people receiving rehabilitation services and their family and/or carers. The research team aims to share the results of the study with allied health professionals, such as physiotherapists, as well as providing training and resources, so that others can learn about how to set specific goals for their patients.

The research is funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust and is led by Dr Matthew Maddocks, a lecturer and specialist physiotherapist at the Cicely Saunders Institute.

Dr Matthew Maddocks