Introducing the trajectory Touchpoint technique: a systematic methodology for capturing the service experiences of palliative care patients and their families

Lynn Sudbury-Riley*, Philippa Hunter-Jones, Ahmed Al-Abdin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Evaluation of palliative care services is crucial in order to ensure high quality care and to plan future services in light of growing demand. There is also an acknowledgement of the need to better understand patient experiences as part of the paradigm shift from paternalistic professional and passive patient to a more collaborative partnership. However, while clinical decision-making is well-developed, the science of the delivery of care is relatively novel for most clinicians. We therefore introduce the Trajectory Touchpoint Technique (TTT), a systematic methodology designed using service delivery models and theories, for capturing the voices of palliative care service users. Methods: We used design science research as our overarching methodology to build our Trajectory Touchpoint Technique. We also incorporated a range of kernel theories and service design models from the wider social sciences. We developed and tested our Trajectory Touchpoint Technique with palliative care patients and their families (n = 239) in collaboration with different hospices and hospital-based palliative care providers (n = 8). Results: The Trajectory Touchpoint Technique is user-friendly, enables systematic data collection and analysis, and incorporates all tangible and intangible dimensions of palliative care important to the service user. These dimensions often go beyond clinical care to encompass wider aspects that are important to the people who use the service. Our collaborating organisations have already begun to make changes to their service delivery based on our results. Conclusions: The Trajectory Touchpoint Technique overcomes several limitations of other palliative care evaluation methods, while being more comprehensive. The new technique incorporates physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of palliative care, and is user-friendly for inpatients, outpatients, families, and the bereaved. The new technique has been tested with people who have a range of illnesses, in a variety of locations, among people with learning disabilities and low levels of literacy, and with children as well as adults. The Trajectory Touchpoint Technique has already uncovered many previously unrecognised opportunities for service improvement, demonstrating its ability to shape palliative care services to better meet the needs of patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00612
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 10 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Narrative
  • Palliative care
  • Patient experience
  • Patient journeys
  • Person centred care
  • Qualitative research
  • Service research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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