Quality indicators for Palliative Day Services: A modified Delphi study

Noleen K. McCorry*, Sean O'Connor, Kathleen Leemans, Joanna Coast, Michael Donnelly, Anne Finucane, Louise Jones, George Kernohan, Paul Perkins, Martin Dempster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
332 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The goal of Palliative Day Services is to provide holistic care that contributes to the quality of life of people with life threatening-illness and their families. Quality indicators provide a means by which to describe, monitor and evaluate the quality of Palliative Day Services provision, and act as a starting point for quality improvement. However, currently, there are no published quality indicators for Palliative Day Services.

Aim: To develop and provide the first set of quality indicators that describe and evaluate the quality of Palliative Day Services.

Design and setting: A modified Delphi technique was used to combine best available research evidence derived from a systematic scoping review with multi-disciplinary expert appraisal of the appropriateness and feasibility of candidate indicators. The resulting indicators were compiled into ‘toolkit’, and tested in five UK Palliative Day Service settings.

Results: A panel of experts independently reviewed evidence summaries for 182 candidate indicators and provided ratings on appropriateness, followed by a panel discussion and further independent ratings of appropriateness, feasibility, and necessity. This exercise resulted in the identification of 30 indicators which were used in practice testing. The final indicator set comprised 7 structural indicators, 21 process indicators, and 2 outcome indicators.

Conclusions: The indicators fulfil a previously unmet need among Palliative Day Service providers by delivering an appropriate and feasible means to assess, review, and communicate the quality of care, and to identify areas for quality improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Structured keywords

  • HEHP@Bristol


  • Palliative Care
  • Delphi Technique
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Day Services, medical
  • Quality Improvement


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