Health Services Research & Development

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Smith D, Thorpe JM, Ersek M, Kutney-Lee A. Identifying Optimal Factor Scores on the Bereaved Family Survey: Implications for Practice and Policy. Journal of pain and symptom management. 2019 Jul 1; 58(1):108-114.
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Abstract: CONTEXT: The Bereaved Family Survey (BFS) is used to evaluate the quality of end-of-life (EOL) care in Veterans Affairs inpatient settings. The BFS consists of a global Performance Measure (BFS-PM) and three factors that relate to specific aspects of EOL care. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify empirically based target scores on each BFS factor that are most strongly related to a rating of "excellent" on the BFS-PM. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of BFS and Veteran clinical data from January 2012 to January 2016. Logistic regression models were constructed for each potential cut point on the three BFS factors and accounted for facility case-mix and nonresponse bias. Model fit was assessed primarily using the Liu Index, Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC), and classification accuracy values. RESULTS: Our analytic sample included 40,180 Veterans whose next-of-kin completed a BFS. The mean BFS response rate across study years was 58%. A score of 14 or higher on the Respectful Care and Communication factor (range 0-15) had the lowest BIC (121355) and highest percent correctly classified (81.2%). The Emotional and Spiritual Support factor (range 0-9) had an optimal score of 8 or higher (BIC = 133685; % correctly classified = 77.1%). An optimal cut point on the Benefits factor was not identified. CONCLUSION: The identification of data-driven targets makes BFS factor scores more useful to clinicians and administrators focused on improving quality of EOL care in their facilities. Our results lend support for prioritizing quality improvement efforts related to respectful care and communication.