The Palliative Care Outcome Scale (POS) and the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS) are outcome measures assessing quality of care in palliative care patients. This review aims to appraise their use in clinical care and research. Five electronic databases were searched (February 2010) for original papers describing the validation or use of POS and/or STAS. Of the 83 papers included, 43 studies were on POS, 39 on STAS and one study using both. Eight STAS studies validated the original version, four an adaptation; 20 studies applied the STAS in another culture and 19 in other languages. POS papers reported included: 14 adapted POS versions, 12 translations of the POS and 15 studies of use in different cultures. Both measures have been used in cancer, HIV/AIDS and in mixed groups. POS has also been applied in neurological, kidney, pulmonary and heart disease. Both tools were used in different areas such as the evaluation of care or interventions, description of symptom prevalence and implementation of outcome measures in clinical practice. Overall, they seem to be well accepted tools for outcome measurement in palliative care, both in clinical care and research.
© The Author(s) 2011