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Published on Jan 8, 2013
POS was developed in 1999 for use with patients with advanced disease, and to improve outcome measurement by evaluating many essential and important outcomes in palliative care. The Support Team Assessment Schedule (STAS), developed in 1986, was the precursor to POS. STAS was constructed to evaluate the work of palliative care support teams and consisted of 17 items, to be rated from 0 (best) to 4 (worst) by a professional caring for the patient.
POS builds on some of the strengths of the STAS, such as clinical application and ease of use. Importantly, POS also allows patients to use POS themselves. POS is therefore a patient reported outcome measure when the patient version of POS is used. POS has demonstrated construct validity acceptable test/re-test reliability for seven items, and good internal consistency. Importantly, POS takes less than 10 minutes to complete by staff or patients.
Since first launched, POS has been continually tested and improved by researchers around the world. POS currently consists of ten items which assess physical symptoms, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs, and provision of information and support resulting in individual item scores and overall profile scores. An additional question provides patients with the opportunity to list their main problem/s. A global network of researchers and clinicians continue to collaborate with the creator of POS, Professor Irene J Higginson, to ensure that POS remains an outcome measure of choice.