Methods for Improving the Quality of Palliative Care Delivery: A Systematic Review

Brandyn D. Lau, Rebecca A. Aslakson, Renee F. Wilson, Oluwakemi A. Fawole, Colleen C. Apostol, Kathryn A. Martinez, Daniela Vollenweider, Eric B. Bass, Sydney E.Morss Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The effectiveness for improving the outcomes across palliative care domains remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review of different types of quality improvement interventions relevant to palliative care. Methods: We searched PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Cochrane for relevant articles published between 2000 and 2011. Results: A total of 10 randomized controlled trials and 7 nonrandomized controlled trials were included. Of the 5 studies using relay of clinical information, 1 reported significant improvement in patient quality of life. Of the 5 studies targeting education and self-management, 4 found significant improvements in quality of life or patient symptoms. Conclusion: A minority of quality improvement interventions have succeeded in improving the quality of palliative care delivery. More studies are needed on specific quality improvement types, including organizational change and multiple types of interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-210
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • comparative effectiveness
  • end of life
  • quality improvement
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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