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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Topic Suggestion Description

View Topic Suggestion Disposition (PDF) 1.3 MB

Date submitted: May 20, 2014

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.
What is the evidence that specific quality indicators in palliative care are associated with improved outcomes?
Palliative care populations include those with advanced, serious and life-threatening illness, such as advanced cancer or dementia.


Describe why this topic is important.
Rationale: Many quality indicators are being developed and implemented without supporting scientific evidence, but based more on expert opinion. Areas with the best supporting evidence are often given lower priority in implementation since they affect smaller populations. Systematically addressing the evidence could help improve the use of indicators for this area. Although a recent AHRQ systematic review on Improving Health Care and Palliative Care for Advanced and Serious Illness addressed quality improvement interventions in this literature, addressing quality indicators was not in scope.

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?
Many organizations, including the National Quality Forum, professional organizations, and hospitals, are choosing quality indicators for palliative care, and an organized, rigorous literature review on their associations with outcomes could help all these organizations to choose those that are most likely to improve patient/family outcomes.

Nominator Information

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