Use of time in people with a life-limiting illness: A longitudinal cohort feasibility pilot study

Terry A. Jones, Timothy S. Olds, David C. Currow, Marie T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: To date, time-use studies in palliative care have been limited to exploration of time commitments of caregivers. Understanding time-use in people with a life-limiting illness might provide insight into disease progression, symptom management and quality of life. Aim: To determine the feasibility of a repeated-measures, time-use study in people with a life-limiting illness, and their primary caregivers, and to explore associations between time-use and perceived quality of life. Design: An observational repeated-measures feasibility pilot study. A priori criteria were established for study uptake (70%), retention (80%) and study value/burden (⩾7 Numerical Rating Scale 0–10). Burden and value of the study, use of time (Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults with adjunctive accelerometry) and quality of life data (EuroQol-5 Dimension-5-Level Health Questionnaire and Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status scale) were assessed at time-points across five consecutive months. Setting/participants: People living with a life-limiting illness and caregivers recruited from Southern Adelaide Palliative Services outpatient clinics. Results: A total of 10 participants (2 caregivers and 8 people with a life-limiting illness) enrolled in the study. All but one of the criteria thresholds was met: 66% of participants who consented to be screened were enrolled in the study, 80% of enrolled participants (n = 8) completed all assessments (two participants died during the study) and mean Numerical Rating Scale scores for acceptable burden and value of the study exceeded the criteria thresholds at every time-point. Conclusion: A repeated-measures time-use study design is feasible and was not unduly burdensome for caregivers and people living with a life-limiting illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1324
Number of pages6
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • acceptability
  • burden
  • cohort study
  • Feasibility
  • palliative care
  • time-use


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