Article Abstract

Outcome measurement and complex physical, psychosocial and spiritual experiences of death and dying

Authors: Ahsan Azhar, Eduardo Bruera

Abstract

Patients with advanced illnesses, especially near the end of life, often experience multiple complex symptoms which may have profound impact on the quality of life of not only the patients but also their family members. Early and prompt recognition of such clinical challenges is linked with better end of life care for the dying patients, their caregivers and family members. In this narrative, which is not meant to be an in-depth systematic review, we attempt to provide an overview of some commonly used outcome measurement tools available for bedside clinical assessment of the different dimensions of suffering, especially near the time of death. We also mention need for recognition of conditions, like delirium and other personal, environmental and social factors, to draw the readers’ attention towards the importance of such assessments, as these may influence interpretation of patient responses on the tools being used to measure outcomes.