Data dictionary

The national palliative care measures aim to track if “people affected by life-limiting illnesses get the care they need to live well”, aligning with the vision of the National Palliative Care Strategy (2018). These measures were developed by the AIHW and are consistent with the broad goals of the Strategy. While the measures have been developed to maximise use of existing data, data are not currently available for 6 of the 14 measures. Further, proxy measures have been used where currently available data do not allow for outcomes to be measured directly. For each of the 8 measures with available data, this data dictionary provides information about:

  • Attributes – such as who the data are about (the population) and how the reported statistic was calculated (numerator, denominator, computation description)
  • Notes – to help understand what is reported 
  • Data source – where the data came from.

Progress is reported by testing for differences in the baseline and latest data for each measure:

  • Baseline data are the information that is available closest to the start of the Strategy (2018)
  • Latest data are the most recent information available for each measure (in most cases with a 2–3 year lag from when measures were released due to data availability).
1. EffectivePhysical wellbeing1.1 Proportion of palliative care phases for people with life-limiting illnesses for which the distress related to pain improved or remained at a low level after intervention.
1. EffectivePsychosocial wellbeing1.2 Proportion of palliative care phases for people with life-limiting illnesses for which psychological or spiritual problems improved or remained at a low level after intervention.
2. SafePsychosocial wellbeing2.1 Proportion of people with life-limiting illnesses who received potentially non-beneficial treatments at the end of life.
3. AppropriateCarer wellbeing3.2 Proportion of palliative care phases for people with life-limiting illnesses for which family or carer problems improved or remained at a low level after intervention.
3. AppropriateCoordinated care4.1 Proportion of people with life-limiting illnesses with a potentially preventable hospitalisation in their last 3 months of life.  
4. ContinuousTimely care4.2a Proportion of people who received specialist palliative care in the last year of life with first receipt at least 3 months before death.
4. ContinuousTimely care4.2b Proportion of inpatient unstable palliative care phases that lasted 3 days or less.    
5. AccessibleEquitable5.1a Number of full-time equivalent employed health practitioners in specialist palliative workforce, per 100,000 population.