Which Research Questions are Important for the Bereaved Families of Palliative Care Cancer Patients? A Nationwide Survey

Sakashita et al. (2018) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

palliative care

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Asia - Japan

Why was it conducted at all?

Bereaved family members are present from diagnosis to the end of life and can look back and evaluate the experience; in addition, the family itself is also an important subject in the care of the patient. Therefore, although it is essential to determine the priority research issues from the viewpoint of the patients and health care workers, it is also crucial to know the important research themes from the viewpoint of the bereaved family members.

What was the objective?

to identify research priorities for palliative care in Japan based on the viewpoint of bereaved family members

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 120 research questions

How long did the research prioritization take?

May 2014 - July 2014

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: survey asking: What kind of studies or investigations are more needed in the field of palliative care?. Step 2: data processing: content analysis, 120 research questions organized into 8 categories

Which stakeholders took part?

Bereaved family members. 2838 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

The project team sent letters to 396 institutions which were member of Hospice Palliative Care Japan and included 49 acute hospitals, 296 inpatient palliative care units (PCUs), and 51 home hospice services, before July 1, 2013. Of those approached, 175 institutions, including 20 acute hospitals, 133 PCUs, and 22 home hospice services participated in the study. The project team asked each institution to identify and list up to 80 bereaved family members of patients who had died before October 2012. The inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) the patient died of cancer; 2) the patient was an adult; and 3) the bereaved family member was an adult.

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.