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ePROMs in the End of Life and in Making Ethical Decisions. An Integrative Review with Narrative

Nuno Miguel Moreira Santos, Abel García Abejas, Àngels Salvador Vergès

Abstract: Background: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) are essential tools in clinical practice and research to assess patients’ needs from their unique perspectives. They allow the healthcare team to monitor patient status and concerns outside the clinical setting. However, the real innovation in this field is its digitization: electronic patient-reported outcome measures (ePROMs). Aims: This review aimed to get an overview of whether these new technologies are being used to aid palliative care teams in their daily struggle to provide comfort to their patients. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of articles retrieved from PubMed and Web of Science, up to November 2021. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. The search strategy yielded 242 records, of which 13 met the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. In addition, relevant information related to ePROMs was extracted from each study. Results: Outcomes were grouped into the quality of life assessment, symptom burden and simple assessments, and the decision to introduce Palliative Cures (PC). In 61.5% of cases, ePROMs positively impacted patients’ quality of life. Furthermore, in 46.15% of cases, ePROMs led Primary Care (PC) teams to make an ethical decision; the same relative value as in the circumstances did not define the direction in ethical terms. Conclusion: Remind professionals and patients that these tools exist and can be applied in many situations. If used correctly, they can provide patients with a better quality of life and more complete information for professionals.
Keywords: ePROMs / Palliative Care / Systematic Review / Quality of Life / End of Life / Decision Making

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