The Palliative Care Screening Tool as an instrument for recommending palliative care for older adults

Abstract The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of the Palliative Care Screening Tool (PCST) for the recommendation of palliative care among older patients admitted to an Intensive Care Unit, as well as to evaluate the prevalence of basic diseases, religion and agreement between the results of the PCST and the Palliative Performance Scale (PPS). A cross-sectional, descriptive, analytical, retrospective, documental study with a quantitative approach was performed. Analysis of 594 medical records revealed that cardiovascular diseases accounted for 26.8% of hospitalizations among older adults, followed by neoplasia 20.2% and renal failure 16.8%, and that aspects related to the religiosity and spirituality of the older adults were not considered. There was agreement of 1.0 between the PCST and PPS scales, as measured by the Kappa test, a score considered to be perfect. The PCST can therefore be considered an excellent tool for the evaluation of palliative care among older adults. It can be concluded that, in view of the significant level of agreement between the scales, new studies using the PCST with larger samples should be performed, with the aim of extending the use of the tool, and to assess if there is a need for adjustments aimed at adapting it more closely to the Brazilian population.