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The goal of this study is to describe the development of a new tool, the Psychosocial and Spiritual Needs Evaluation scale Instrumento de Evaluación de Necesidades Psicosociales y Espirituales del Enfermo al Final de Vida (ENP-E), designed to assess the psychosocial needs of end-of-life (EOL) patients. And, secondarily, to describe the face validity and psychometric properties of this instrument in the Spanish-speaking context.
The scale was developed through a seven-stage process: (1) literature review; (2) expert panel establishment; (3) discussion and agreement on the most relevant dimensions of psychosocial care; (4) description of key indicators and consensus-based questions to evaluate such dimensions; (5) assessment of the scale by external palliative care (PC) professionals; (6) evaluation by patients; and (7) analysis of scale's psychometrics properties. To assess content validity, 30 PC professionals and 20 patients evaluated the questionnaire. To determine psychometric properties, 150 participants completed these scales: the ENP-E; the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; item 15 from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 15 Palliative; and the Distress Thermometer.
All respondents evaluated the tool as “excellent.” In terms of construct validity, the internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.74) and temporal stability (test-retest r = 0.74, p < 0.1) were both adequate. On the factorial analysis, four factors (emotional-wellbeing, social support, spiritual, and information) explained 58.4% of the variance. This scale has a sensitivity of 76.3%, specificity of 78.9%, and the cutoff is 28.
Significance of results
To provide quality PC to EOL patients, it is essential to determine the psychosocial factors that influence well-being. This requires the use of reliable and specific instruments. The ENP-E is a novel tool that provides a systematic, holistic assessment of the psychosocial needs of EOL patients. Its routine use would allow clinicians to monitor such needs over time. This would, in turn, permit comprehensive, highly individualized interventions to improve effective PC approach.
Implementation of an advance care planning (ACP) program for people with advanced chronic conditions is a complex process. The aims of this paper are to describe (1) the development of the ACP program in Catalonia, Spain, for patients with advanced chronic conditions and complex needs and (2) the preliminary results of the implementation of this program in health and social services.
The ACP program was developed and implemented in a four-stage process as follows: (1) design and organization of the project; (2) selection of the professionals to carry out the project; (3) creation of four working groups to develop the conceptual model, guidelines, training program, and perform a qualitative evaluation; and (4) project implementation.
The following deliverables were completed: (1) conceptual framework document; (2) practical guidelines for the application of the ACP; (3) online training course (3,763 healthcare professionals completed the online course, with an overall satisfaction rating of 8.4 on a 10-point scale); and (4) additional training activities (conferences, short courses, and seminars) in between 2015 and 2017.
Significance of results
This project was led by the Catalan Ministry of Health. The strengths of the project development include the contribution of a wide range of professionals from the entire region, approval by the Catalan Bioethics Committee and the Social Services Ethics Committee, and the ongoing validation by members of the community. A standardized online training course was offered to all primary care professionals and included as a quality indicator for continuing education for those professionals in the period 2016–2020. The main outcome of this project is the establishment of a pragmatic ACP throughout the region and training of the health and social care professionals involved in the care of advanced chronic patients.
We aimed to describe the overall quantitative and qualitative results of a “La Caixa” Foundation and World Health Organization Collaborating Center Program entitled “Comprehensive Care for Patients with Advanced Illnesses and their Families” after four years of experience.
Qualitative and quantitative methods were employed to assess the program. Quasiexperimental, prospective, multicenter, single-group, and pretest/posttest methods were utilized to assess the quantitative data. The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions was assessed at baseline (visit 1) and after four follow-up visits. The following dimensions were assessed: mood state, discomfort, anxiety, degree of adjustment or adaptation to disease, and suffering. We also assessed the four dimensions of the spiritual pain scale: faith or spiritual beliefs, valuable faith or spiritual beliefs, meaning in life, and peace of mind/forgiveness. Qualitative analyses were performed via surveys to evaluate stakeholder satisfaction.
We built 29 psychosocial support teams involving 133 professionals—mainly psychologists and social workers. During the study period, 8,964 patients and 11,810 family members attended. Significant improvements were observed in the psychosocial and spiritual dimensions assessed. Patients, family members, and stakeholders all showed high levels of satisfaction.
Significance of Results:
This model of psychosocial care could serve as an example for other countries that wish to improve psychosocial and spiritual support. Our results confirm that specific psychosocial interventions delivered by well-trained experts can help to ease suffering and discomfort in end-of-life and palliative care patients, particularly those with high levels of pain or emotional distress.
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