Introduction: Australia has led the way with aged care palliative care guidelines. Guidelines need to be updated to incorporate new evidence for practice as it is published. They also need to address emerging issues of importance in aged care and palliative care provision. Most importantly they need to be accessible and suitable for use.
In 2015, the Department of Health undertook a feasibility study to inform a proposed review of the APRAC and COMPAC Guidelines. This study found an ongoing need for a dynamic up-to-date evidence base to drive better practice of palliative care in aged care. The need for accessible and practical tools and support was also clearly expressed by stakeholders. CareSearch (Flinders University) was approached to produce a guidance resource in 2016, and in May 2017 palliAGED was launched.
Aims: The aim of the study reported here was to assess the robustness of palliAGED against the validated AGREE II tool. AGREE II is the international tool to assess the quality and reporting of practice guidelines
Methods: palliAGED was scored against the AGREE II checklist for scope, stakeholder involvement, rigour, clarity, applicability, and editorial independence.
Results: palliAGED scored well against the AGREE II criteria. In particular, the involvement of advisory and specialist review groups from project inception has facilitated strong stakeholder involvement ensuring relevance and applicability. Delivery of palliAGED guidance as an online digital resource while meeting the AGREE II criteria has resulted in readily accessed and trustworthy guidance that can be easily updated to ensure currency of the information being accessed by the aged care sector.
Discussion: Examination of core elements of the palliAGED processes highlights how palliAGED complies with the quality domains outlined in AGREE II.
Conclusion: palliAGED represents a robust guidance resource for the Australian setting to support direct care practice and the development of tools and toolkits to support practice.