A Pilot Evaluation of the Palliative Performance Scale in Long Term Care: Tips for Success

S Kaasalainen, Kevin Brazil, ML Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Aims: Palliative care in long-term care (LTC) homes is an area of growing concern. Little work has been done to explore innovative ways to identify and care for residents who become palliative. The purpose of this intervention study was to evaluate the implementation of the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) in LTC. Specifically we explored staff perceptions about implementing the PPS and how it cued staff to initiate palliative care discussion with residents and family when a resident’s health declined.

Methods: This study utilized a qualitative descriptive design that included data from four separate sources: journals of three ‘champions’ who were responsible for leading the implementation of the PPS; staff evaluations of three educational training sessions; minutes from meetings; and 11 interviews from key staff who were involved in the implementation process. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis.

Results: Staff generally felt positively about using the PPS in LTC and stated that it increased awareness of palliative care and helped identify those residents who were nearing the end of life. There were some barriers to implementing it, such as staff resistance and lack of time to complete it. The importance of having a designated ‘champion’ and effective interdisciplinary communication in addition to widespread training, were identified as successful strategies to facilitate the implementation process.

Conclusion: These study findings support the use of the PPS in LTC and offer some perspective about ways to implement it successfully. Future work is needed to evaluate the PPS in LTC using more rigorous designs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP384
Pages (from-to)784
Number of pages1
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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