International experts reached consensus on the makeup of integration of oncology and palliative care, according to a recent article published first online this week in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Forty-seven international experts, predominately from North America and Europe, participated in a Delphi Survey to rate a list of indicators on integration.

The survey consisted of three rounds with five categories: clinical structure, processes, outcomes, education and research. The consensus was met when agreement reached 70% or greater.

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The experts reached consensus on 13 major indicators with two on structure (consensus 95-98%), four on processes (consensus 88-98%), three on outcomes (consensus 88-91%) and four on education (consensus 93-100%).

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Out of a scale of 10, major indicators were considered to be clearly stated (9.8), objective (9.4), open to accurate coding (9.5), and applicable to their own countries (9.4).  In addition to major indicators, 30 minor indicators also reached consensus.

The study demonstrates that these indicators can be useful to identify centers to further develop high-quality integration of oncology and palliative care programs.


  1. Hui D, Bansal S, Strasser F, et al. Indicators of integration of oncology and palliative care programs: an international consensus. Ann Oncol. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv269.