Fall 2023

Document Type

Scholarly Project


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Karen Wickersham


While there are extensive benefits of integration of early palliative care, referral to this specialty tends to occur late in the disease course after some form of suffering has already occurred (Hausner et al., 2021). The purpose of this DNP student’s quality improvement project was to improve care coordination and increase rate of palliative care referrals of solid tumor oncology patients through implementation of an evidence-based trigger tool for palliative care screening. Participants were recruited from a 36-bed inpatient adult medical oncology unit where identified patients meeting criteria were included in the study. Data for this study included participant demographics, type and stage of cancer, length of cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, screening scores and palliative care referral rates for the inpatient oncology unit. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics for participant demographics, means comparison for referral rates, and one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to compare relationships between participant variables and screening scores. Comparison of palliative care referral rates from baseline to screening tool implementation was not significantly different. There were statistically significant relationships between cancer type and age, and cancer treatment and screening scores. Overall, referral rates did not significantly change with implementation of a palliative care screening tool, though this project was able to utilize the screening tool to successfully identify participant variables which put them at increased risk for palliative care needs.


© 2023, Kaitlin Lothe

Included in

Nursing Commons