A Systematic Review of International Palliative Care Research Priorities and a Thematic Synthesis of Findings

F. Hasson, Emma Nicholson, Deborah Muldrew, Sheila Payne, Sonja J McIlfatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Background: Increasing evidence contributing to the global research agenda for palliative care has been published on research priorities, however, to date there has been a lack of synthesis of this evidence featuring commonalities, differences and gaps.

Aim: To identify and synthesize global palliative care research priorities.

Design: A systematic review of research priorities in palliative care was undertaken and guided by the PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews. Studies that elicited palliative care research priorities were eligible for inclusion.

Data Sources: Six databases were searched between 2008-2017 including CINAHL, EMBASE, PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and PsycINFO, as well as grey literature. Eligibility criteria were applied and the Joanna Briggs Institute Appraisal Tools were used to assess quality.

Results: The search strategy yielded 2288 unique citations, 51 full text articles were reviewed, and seven met the inclusion criteria. Seven priority areas were identified: Service Models, Continuity of Care; Training and Education; Inequality; Communication; Living well and independently; and Recognising family/carer needs and the importance of families. Methodological approaches and process of reporting varied. There was little representation of patient and caregiver driven agendas.

Conclusion: Research priority setting activities in palliative care elicited a broad range of topics, however approaches and samples varied questioning the credibility of findings. The findings of this study may serve as a template to understand the commonalities of research and enhance dialogue in palliative care research. A more standardised approach for priority setting will allow for increased validity and comparability of findings from across palliative care settings.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue numberEAPC Abstracts
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 May 2019
Event16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care - Estrel Conference Centre, Berlin, Germany
Duration: 23 May 201925 May 2019


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