BACKGROUND: The Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators tool (SPICT) supports the identification of patients with potential palliative care (PC) needs. An Austrian-German expert group translated SPICT into German (SPICT-DE) in 2014. The aim of this study was the systematic development, refinement, and testing of SPICT-DE for its application in primary care (general practice).
METHODS: SPICT-DE was developed by a multiprofessional research team according to the TRAPD model: translation, review, adjudication, pretesting and documentation. In a pretest, five general practitioners (GPs) rated four case vignettes of patients with different PC needs. GPs were asked to assess whether each patient might benefit from PC or not (I) based on their subjective appraisal ("usual practice") and (II) by using SPICT-DE. After further refinement, two focus groups with 28 GPs (68% with a further qualification in PC) were conducted to test SPICT-DE. Again, participants rated two selected case vignettes (I) based on their subjective appraisal and (II) by using SPICT-DE. Afterwards, participants reflected the suitability of SPICT-DE for use in their daily practice routine within the German primary care system. Quantitative data were analysed with descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests for small samples. Qualitative data were analysed by conventional content analysis. Focus group discussion was analysed combining formal and conventional content analysis.
RESULTS: Compared to the spontaneous rating of the case vignettes based on subjective appraisal, participants in both the pretest and the focus groups considered PC more often as being beneficial for the patients described in the case vignettes when using SPICT-DE. Participants in the focus groups agreed that SPICT-DE includes all relevant indicators necessary for an adequate clinical identification of patients who might benefit from PC.
CONCLUSIONS: SPICT-DE supports the identification of patients who might benefit from PC and seems suitable for routine application in general practice in Germany. The systematic development, refinement, and testing of SPICT-DE in this study was successfully completed by using a multiprofessional and participatory approach.
- Journal Article