Dempsey, Ariel, and John Mulder. “Quality Versus Quantity of Life: Beyond the Dichotomy.” Palliative Medicine Reports 4.1 (2023): 17-23 is available in the Wiki VBP Reference Library.
A restrictive and dichotomous question has become the primary approach in many goals of care discussions. Is the primary goal of care quantity of life through aggressive therapy or quality of life through comfort care and hospice? Even though many health care providers recognize that quality vs quantity of life (QvQ) is a false dichotomy, in practice QvQ underlies many goals of care discussions and can negatively impact patient care.
This article offers strategies for assessing patients at the end of life, presenting a first-line conversation process that can support a range of treatment options as well as a diversity of dynamic patient values. Based on decades of experience in palliative care and a review of relevant literature, we recommend four practical questions to serve as values “vital signs,” monitoring dynamic notions of quality of life and harmonizing patient values with treatment options. One of these questions is ‘what matters to you?’
The article is available as an open access publication: http://doi.org/10.1089/pmr.2022.0058