Translation and cognitive testing of the Italian Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS) among patients and healthcare professionals

Simone Veronese, Elisa Rabitti, Massimo Costantini, Alessandro Valle, Irene Higginson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Outcome measurement is fundamental to assess needs and priority of care in palliative care settings. The Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) was developed from earlier versions of this tool. Its use is encouraged to ameliorate the assessment of individual outcomes in palliative care settings. This study aimed to translate and culturally adapt IPOS into Italian, and explore its face and content validity. Methods After forward-backward translation, a qualitative study explored the views of and cognitive processes used by respondents. We conducted individual semi structured interviews with 21 patients admitted to two palliative care services, from hospitals, hospices and the community, and focus groups with 12 professionals working in multidisciplinary palliative care teams and used thematic analysis. The results were integrated in a final audit, including the project team and the original POS developers, to refine the final format of the tool. Results We conducted 21 face to face cognitive interviews with patients, and 2 focus groups with 14 professionals. Patients and professionals felt content and format of IPOS appropriate and feasible, and not burdensome. Some layout problems were raised leading to adaptation. Main issues regarded: clarifying the meaning of choices and some cultural interpretation of some questions and response options and interpretation of some instructions. We proposed using some new terms as more appropriate and comprehensive in our context, such as replacing the term “family” with “dear ones”. The items that appeared unchanged from the previously validated Italian POS were left unmodified to maintain coherence. Conclusions The Italian IPOS, in its four versions directed to patients or staff and with a recall period of 3 or 7 days, has face and content validity for use in clinical settings and is ready for further psychometric and clinimetric validation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208536
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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