Research Priorities in Palliative Care

For which topic were research priorities identified?

palliative care

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

Palliative care may be required months, or even years, before the terminal phase of the illness and, conversely, anticancer treatment may be appropriate at relatively advanced stages of the disease continuum. The issue is not whether priorities should be set, but rather how they should be set and by whom.

What was the objective?

to determine priorities for clinical research in palliative care

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to list five questions or problems related to the care of patients with advanced disease which they believed should be researched. Step 2: data processing: data cleaning, selecting items for round 2 by the following criteria: item had been identified with sufficient frequency to be acknowledged as important, item constituted a potential research question, little published research existed. Additionally, decision made that survey should have manageable size. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to identify 10 items from a list of 55 research areas which they believed to be the most important and to rank them. Step 4: Delphi round 3: participants were asked to re-rank based on own ranking and group ranking and to indicate for each of their top 10 items whether they believed that their own professional group should take the lead in researching the problem

Which stakeholders took part?

Social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, chaplains, doctors, nurses. Overall, 821 stakeholders participated in all 3 rounds.

How were stakeholders recruited?

Panel members were defined as health care professionals affiliated to a professional palliative care organization, working within a specialist palliative care service, or having an active interest in the field. The organizations chosen represented six disciplines: nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, chaplains, occupational therapists, and social workers. Questionnaires were mailed.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.