A Mixed Methods Knowledge Synthesis of a Palliative Approach

In the last decade there have been several studies and reports that have been published and that focus on the care of people with chronic life-limiting conditions, and that pertain to a palliative approach. To our knowledge there has been no systematic attempt to synthesize this knowledge. Such a synthesis will produce information to inform health system decision making and will inform the development of a conceptual framework for a palliative approach that can be used by health care professionals, health systems managers, decision and policy makers interested in integrating a palliative approach into their care delivery models.

Research Objectives and Questions:

Our research objectives and questions are as follows:

  1. To conduct a synthesis of empiric and grey literature on a palliative approach with particular attention to literature in the health and social sciences. The aims of the synthesis will be to identify and synthesize the literature specifically related to the following research questions:
    1. Where and in what sectors has a palliative approach been integrated and what are the lessons learned (practice and policy) that can be applied to the BC and Canadian healthcare contexts?
    2. What is currently known about the use of a palliative approach in caring for those with advanced non-malignant disease?
    3. What initiatives, practices and strategies are being integrated, and what populations of patients are identified as needing a palliative approach?
    4. What knowledge, skills and abilities are required to provide care using a palliative approach and are these different from those required to provide high quality “generalist” care or “specialist” palliative care?
    5. What are the currently existing resources and best practice recommendations for translating knowledge and educating nurses about a palliative approach?
  2. On the basis of this synthesis, and supplemented with information obtained through other components of our iPANEL research program, we aim to construct a conceptual framework that can be used to guide the development of health services directed toward the integration of a palliative approach into three sectors of the health system: acute care medicine, residential care, and home and community care.


Poster presented at the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal, Quebec, September 9-12, 2014: full-size poster or poster handout.

Poster presented at the 20th Annual Cochrane Canada Symposium in Ottawa, Ontario, April 24-25, 2014: full-size poster.

Conceptual foundations of a palliative approach: A knowledge synthesis. 2016. BMC Palliative Care. Available open access online.

Principal Investigators:
Kelli Stajduhar
Richard Sawatzky

Carolyn Tayler
Barbara Pesut
Barbara McLeod
Anne Bruce
Ann Syme
Pat Porterfield
Della Roberts
Pauline James

Research Staff:
Joyce Lee
Heather Elliott
Anne Redmond

Duncan Dixon
James Voth

Project Contact:
Joyce Lee

Timeline:  Commenced October, 2011.  Expected end date October, 2013.
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