Elaboration of an observational screening tool for depression in Palliative Care: Preliminary study

Manel Dionís Comas, B. Calafell, J. T. Limonero, R. Bayés

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    The aim of this work consists of the elaboration of an observational screening tool to detect or assess depression (EOD, Escala Observacional de Depresión) in terminal patients on a Palliative Care Unit. The purpose is to detect as fast as possible the presence of a depressive state to be able to treat it properly and to reach the ultimate aim of Palliative Care: the welfare of the patient and his family. In order to do that, an observational screening tool has been elaborated to assess the depression based on the value of a series of terminal patient's behavioural parameters typical of depressive states, which can be easily observed by the staff who take care of them. It has been passed the questionnaire HADS (as a subjective measure to depression) to 25 patients in terminal situation, and it has been compared their score to the evaluation obtained by the questionnaire EOD applied by the nursery staff who attended these patients. The results obtained show that the EOD has very good psychometric characteristics and that EOD coincide, in a global way, in a 66% with the evaluations made with the scale HADS; that is, it shows a 76% of coincidence when depression is not detected, and a 56% when it is detected. This scale must be considered as a first step in the detection approach of depression in a terminal patient, and it must be subjected to future revisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-101
    JournalMedicina Paliativa
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004


    • Assessment
    • Depression
    • Observational screening tool
    • Palliative Care
    • Terminal patient


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