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Standards, guidelines, and quality measures for successful specialty palliative care integration into oncology: Current approaches and future directions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Arif H. Kamal, Claudia Bausewein, David J. Casarett, David C. Currow, Deborah J. Dudgeon, Irene J. Higginson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-994
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
Published20 Mar 2020

King's Authors


Although robust evidence demonstrates that specialty palliative care integrated into oncology care improves patient and health system outcomes, few clinicians are familiar with the standards, guidelines, and quality measures related to integration. These types of guidance outline principles of best practice and provide a framework for assessing the fidelity of their implementation. Significant advances in the understanding of effective methods and procedures to guide integration of specialty palliative care into oncology have led to a proliferation of guidance documents around the world, with several areas of commonality but also some key differences. Commonalities originate from a shared vision for integration; differences arise from diverse roles of palliative care specialists within cancer care globally. In this review we discuss three of the most cited standards/ guidelines, as well as quality measures related to integrated palliative and oncology care. We also recommend changes to the quality measurement framework for palliative care and a new way to match palliative care services to patients with advanced cancer on the basis of care complexity and patient needs, irrespective of prognosis.

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