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Instruments for the identification of patients in need of palliative care: a systematic review protocol of measurement properties.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the psychometric properties of available clinician-reported instruments developed to identify patients in need of general and specialized palliative care (PC) in acute care settings.

INTRODUCTION: Identification of patients in need of PC has been recognized as an area where many healthcare professionals need guidance. Differentiating between patients who require general PC and patients with more complex conditions who need specialized PC is particularly challenging. To our knowledge, no dedicated instruments are available to date to assist healthcare professionals to make this identification.

INCLUSION CRITERIA: Included studies will report on: i) instruments aiming to identify patients in need of PC, ii) adult patients in need of PC in acute-care settings, iii) clinician-reported outcome measures (ClinROMs), or iv) the development process or one or more of its measurement properties. Studies conducted in intensive care units, emergency departments, or nursing homes will be excluded.

METHODS: We will search for studies published in English and French in a variety of sources, including Embase, Medline Ovid SP, PubMed, and CINAHL EBSCO, Google Scholar, government websites, and hospice websites. All citations will be screened and selected by two independent reviewers. Data extraction, quality assessment, and syntheses of included studies will be performed according to the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) criteria.PROSPERO systematic review registration number.

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