Quality and Evidence Processes

Quality and Evidence Processes

Australia has led the way with aged care palliative care guidelines. The Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) Guidelines were the first guidelines in the world that provided evidence based support for health professionals on providing palliative care in residential aged care facilities. A companion set of guidelines published in 2011 provided evidence based guidance for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC). This landmark work acknowledged the importance of aged care as a setting in which palliative care needs would be found, and also, the impact of an ageing population on demand for palliative care.

In 2016 CareSearch was approached to develop a combined guidance resource, palliAGED was designed to update and replace APRAC and COMPAC. Robust quality processes were employed to identify and synthesise relevant evidence and together with community and project advisory group consultations ensured that the guidance is comprehensive and relevant. palliAGED is the evidence-based guidance resource for palliative care in aged care. Quality processes are based on the CareSearch model and are provided in more detail for the initial palliAGED project below.

Quality appraisal

The PCACE Project Team has identified different evidence resources to provide guidance on common care and symptom issues faced when looking after older people who need palliative or end of life care.

The main resources used in developing the summaries and syntheses for the evidence topics are systematic reviews, guidelines and significant evaluation studies. The process by which these documents are developed usually involves extensive searching, assessment of the quality of the research, data extraction, peer review, and review by intended users. The process is illustrated in the accompanying flow chart.

To assess the quality of guidance provided through palliAGED (3.53MB pdf) the AGREE II tool was used to assess compliance across all six domains; scope, stakeholder involvement, rigour, clarity, applicability, and editorial independence. palliAGED was found to be a robust and transparent resource that fully complies with the requirements for quality guidance.

Ongoing appraisal

To ensure currency of information, every 2-3 years the palliAGED team will conduct reviews of all topics based on searches for new evidence in line with the quality processes outlined above.

Page last updated 28 October 2022