Validation of a core outcome measure for palliative care in Africa: the APCA African Palliative Outcome Scale.

Dept Palliative Care, King's College London, Weston Education Centre, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RJ, UK.
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes (Impact Factor: 2.27). 01/2010; 8:10. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the burden of progressive incurable disease in Africa, there is almost no evidence on patient care or outcomes. A primary reason has been the lack of appropriate locally-validated outcome tools. This study aimed to validate a multidimensional scale (the APCA African Palliative Outcome Scale) in a multi-centred international study.
Validation was conducted across 5 African services and in 3 phases: Phase 1. Face validity: content analysis of qualitative interviews and cognitive interviewing of POS; Phase 2. Construct validity: correlation of POS with Missoula-Vitas Quality of Life Index (Spearman's rank tests); Phase 3. Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha calculated twice using 2 datasets), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients calculated for 2 time points) and time to complete (calculated twice using 2 datasets).
The validation involved 682 patients and 437 family carers, interviewed in 8 different languages. Phase 1. Qualitative interviews (N = 90 patients; N = 38 carers) showed POS items mapped well onto identified needs; cognitive interviews (N = 73 patients; N = 29 carers) demonstrated good interpretation; Phase 2. POS-MVQoLI Spearman's rank correlations were low-moderate as expected (N = 285); Phase 3. (N = 307, 2nd assessment mean 21.2 hours after first, SD 7.2) Cronbach's Alpha was 0.6 on both datasets, indicating expected moderate internal consistency; test-retest found high intra-class correlation coefficients for all items (0.78-0.89); median time to complete 7 mins, reducing to 5 mins at second visit.
The APCA African POS has sound psychometric properties, is well comprehended and brief to use. Application of this tool offers the opportunity to at last address the omissions of palliative care research in Africa.

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