Validation of the Symptom and Problem Checklist of the German Hospice and Palliative Care Evaluation (HOPE)

Division of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.
Journal of pain and symptom management (Impact Factor: 2.8). 11/2011; 43(3):593-605. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2011.04.021
Source: PubMed


The German Hospice and Palliative Care Evaluation (HOPE) is a national, long-term quality assurance project. Every year, German hospice and palliative care institutions document a core data set for their patients for a period of three months.
To validate the multidimensional symptom and problem checklist (HOPE-SP-CL) of the core data set and report details on reliability and validity.
Data from yearly evaluation periods between 2002 and 2009 were used to calculate construct and convergent validity, internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and documentation discipline and acceptance of the core documentation system.
The HOPE-SP-CL includes items on physical, nursing, psychological, and social symptoms and problems. Factor analysis extracted four low to moderately intercorrelating factors with eigenvalues greater than 1.0 explaining 56% of the total variance. Discriminant validity of the HOPE-SP-CL showed good properties in detecting patient groups with different symptom intensities and overall symptom burden using the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status and primary cancer diagnosis as external validation criteria. The global sum score of the HOPE-SP-CL correlated most closely with the Palliative Outcome Scale staff version (r=0.750). Internal consistencies ranged between α=0.768-0.801 at three different times of assessment. Test-retest coefficients showed moderate to high correlations at one-week intervals.
Analyses of reliability and validity of the HOPE-SP-CL showed satisfactory to good psychometric properties; therefore, the HOPE-SP-CL can be recommended for standard implementation in German hospice and palliative care institutions.

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