Last Year of Life Study Cologne II: Modelling and evaluation of a minimally invasive bilateral intervention to strengthen patient-centred care in hospitals

LYOL-C-II is a follow-up project to the study “Last year of life in Cologne – LYOL-C”. LYOL-C II aims to make hospital healthcare more patient-centred in order to increase the long-term benefit (“value”) for patients in their last year of life. For this purpose, minimally invasive interventions are tested on specific wards and evaluated within the course of a staff survey and prospective patient study, which is intended to help improve care for this particularly vulnerable group of patients and their relatives.

Duration of the project: 05/2020 – 04/2023
Project funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research

With help of a minimally invasive intervention, a concept is being developed to help identify patients who are in their last year of life and therefore have a greater need for care and support. In addition, checklists for patients will be developed within the course of this study, which will help to improve the flow of information by making it easier for patients to talk to practitioners, for example. We assume that this type of intervention can help to optimise care for all those involved.

Prospective interventional study using a controlled two-arm study design:

Phase I: Modelling

  • Development of a two-way intervention (i.e. applied to providers and patients) consisting of the Surprise Question and a German version of the Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT-DETM) for providers and a Patient Question Prompt Sheets (QPS) for patients.
  • Individual Interviews (n=5-10) with healthcare providers and patient representatives involved in care at the end of life in the Cologne area to discuss the implementation details of the planned intervention.

Phase II: Exploratory study

  • Implementation of the intervention on selected wards of the university hospital, training of healthcare providers (n=20) and evaluation.
  • Implementation of a controlled bipartite intervention (n=2×36) in selected wards of the university hospital and examination of the perceived benefits and possible barriers to the use of bipartite intervention in German hospitals.
  • Socio-economic impact assessment of the intervention (see OrgValue)

Prof. Dr. med. Raymond Voltz (Speaker)
(Centre for palliative medicine, University Hospital Cologne)

Prof. Dr. Holger Pfaff
(Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research, and Rehabilitation Science, University of Cologne)

Prof. Dr. Frank Schulz-Nieswandt
(Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology (ISS), University of Cologne)

Dr. Dr. Julia Strupp
(Centre for palliative medicine, University Hospital Cologne)

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Further information on LYOL-C is available at: