The current gap in access to palliative care requires the expansion of palliative care services worldwide. There is little information about the structural components required by palliative care services to provide adequate end-of-life care. No specific tools have been developed to assess the structural quality of these services.


      To develop and validate a tool to assess the structural quality of palliative care services.

      Design and setting

      A scoping review of literature was performed to identify structural quality indicators of palliative care services. National experts participated in a two-round Delphi method to reach consensus regarding the importance and measurement feasibility of each proposed indicator. Consensus was reached for each indicator if 60% or more considered them both important and feasible. The selected indicators were tested among Chilean palliative care services to assess instrument psychometric characteristics.


      31 indicators were identified. 35 experts participated in a two-round Delphi survey. 21 indicators reached consensus and were included in the Structural Quality of Palliative Care Services tool (SQPCS-21). This instrument was applied to 201 out of 250 palliative care services in Chile. Achievement for each indicator varied between 8% and 96% (mean 52%). The total SQPCS-21 score varied between 3 and 21 points (mean 11 points).


      The SQPCS-21 tool to assess structural quality of palliative care services, has good content and construct validity and its application provides information about institutions at the individual and aggregated level. This tool can provide guidance to monitor the structural quality of palliative care worldwide.


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