A Systematic Review of the Use of the Palliative Care Outcome Scale and the Support Team Assessment Schedule in Palliative Care

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Dec;50(6):842-53.e19. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2015.07.015. Epub 2015 Aug 31.


Context: The Palliative care Outcome Scale (POS) and the Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS) are two outcome measures used in palliative care settings to assess palliative concerns, needs, and quality of care.

Objectives: This systematic review builds on the findings of a previous review to appraise the use of the POS and STAS since 2010, particularly the context and nature of their use.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, British Nursing Index, and CINAHL were searched for studies published between February 2010 and June 2014. Relevant authors were contacted, and reference lists of included studies were searched. Studies reporting validation or the use of the POS or STAS were included, and data on sample population, how the outcome measure was being used, study design, study aim, and results of the study were extracted.

Results: Forty-three studies were included (POS n = 35, STAS n = 8). There was an increase in the use of the POS and STAS in Europe and Africa with the publication of 13 new translations of the POS. Most studies focused on the use, rather than further validation, of the POS and STAS. There has been increasing use of these measures within non-cancer patient groups.

Conclusion: The POS and STAS are now used in a wide variety of settings and countries. These tools may be used in the future to compare palliative care needs and quality of care across diverse contexts and patient groups.

Keywords: Outcome measure (health care); hospice care; palliative care; patient outcome assessment; terminal care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Palliative Care / methods*