The Quality of Death Index was devised and constructed by an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research team led by Trisha Suresh.
In 2010, the EIU developed an Index that ranked the availability, affordability and quality of end-of-life care in 40 countries. The Index, which was commissioned by the Lien Foundation, a Singaporean philanthropic organization, consisted of 24 indicators in four categories. The study garnered much attention and sparked a series of policy debates over the provision of palliative and end-of-life care around the world. As a result, the Lien Foundation commissioned a new version of the Index to expand its scope and take into account global developments in palliative care in recent years.
In this, the 2015 version, the number of countries included has been increased from 40 to 80. The Index, which focuses on the quality and availability of palliative care to adults, is also structured differently from the 2010 version (meaning the direct comparison of scores between years is not possible). Now, the Index is composed of scores in 20 quantitative and qualitative indicators across five categories. The categories are:
• Palliative and healthcare environment (20% weighting, 4 indicators)
• Human resources (20% weighting, 5 indicators)
• Affordability of care (20% weighting, 3 indicators)
• Quality of care (30% weighting, 6 indicators)
• Community engagement (10% weighting, 2 indicators)
Each indicator is allocated a weighting in its category, and each category is given a weighting in the overall Index. Parts 1 to 6 of this paper consider in turn the overall results and scores for each of the five categories.
This year, the EIU also prepared a supplementary assessment of the need for palliative care provision, to enable assessment of the “demand” for such care alongside the quality of “supply” revealed in the main Index. This is based on three categories:
• The burden of diseases for which palliative care is necessary (60% weighting)
• The old-age dependency ratio (20%)
• The speed of aging of the population from 2015-2030(20%)