Our internationally recognised research activities focus on providing evidence-based research in four key areas:

  • Clinical studies
  • Translational and evidence resources
  • Service Provision
  • Population-based studies

Major Projects

CareSearch

CareSearch Logo CareSearch palliative care knowledge network (or more simply CareSearch) is a suite of palliative care information and resources funded by the Australian Government. The website is designed to support health professionals involved in providing palliative care and those needing palliative care and their families and friends.

Since its release in 2008, the CareSearch website has become a major resource for carers, clinicians, students, researchers and service providers. 

A series of concepts have driven the development of the CareSearch project:

  • The role of evidence from creation to application, " the knowledge translation cycle"
  • The multidisciplinary nature of palliative care
  • The concept of a palliative care community, that is, both those providing palliative care and those affected by the need for palliative care
  • Granularity, or the idea of the size and scale of components and their relationships within a system, that enables users to find and use specific information within a website
  • Quality processes to ensure trustworthiness and relevance of content

These concepts have driven an active research and evaluation program in a number of areas relating to literature identification, eHealth literacy, knowledge translation and online resource development.

Website: CareSearch  

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Centre of Research Excellence in End of Life Care

The pattern of disease, dying and death has changed dramatically in Australia over the last century. The Centre of Research Excellence in End of Life Care brings together four leading research centres in end-of-life care and establishes strategic links with leading investigators in chronic disease, health economics, and legal and ethical issues. The centre will address the urgent need for evidence-based end-of-life service delivery strategies that are responsive to the complex, unpredictable and often extended patterns of disease progression.

This Centre is led by the Queensland University of Technology, in collaboration with Flinders University, the University of Queensland and the University of Wollongong. This centre is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Website: Centre of Reasearch Excellence in End of Life Care

 

Decision Assist

Decision Assist logo The Specialist Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Advisory Services (Decision Assist) project is part of a strategic approach to strengthening the interface, and building better health connections, between the health and aged care systems.

The project will develop a palliative care and advance care planning advisory service through:

  • telephone based advice available 24/7 through a national 1800 number;
  • web-based resources, including tablet and smart phone access;
  • telehealth advice where required and available;

This project is being run as a consortium with a number of other institutions. The project is funded by the Australian Government.

Website: Decision Assist

 

End of Life Essentials : Education for health professionals within acute hospitals

End of Life Essentials provides online learning modules and implementation resources to help build health professional capacity in Australian hospitals. Relevant for nurses, doctors and allied health professionals in any acute care practice setting, this e-learning package deals with end-of-life care.

The package has been prepared by the internationally recognised palliative care team at Flinders University. It is free to use and can be easily accessed from anywhere in Australia.

All components of the e-learning package draw upon the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for safe and high-quality end-of-life care. This reflects the views of clinicians, health consumers, carers, experts in the field and the Commission.

End-of-Life Essentials is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, and is in partnership with CareSearch palliative care knowledge network.

Website : End of Life Essentials

 

Flinders Filters

Flinders Filters is a team of researches and librarians specialising in information retrieval, through the development of search filters and online search tools.

Finding the existing evidence base is a prerequisite to implementing evidence, however searching for this evidence is difficult. "Search filters" are evidence based literature search strategies, developed using an explicit methodology and tested using a gold standard test comparison study design. They provide a standardised, systematic subject-based search with a known level of performance. Embedding the search filter into a URL for a database such as PubMed provides the searcher with access to a highly performing literature search simply by clicking a link. This capacity for ready implementation is a powerful feature of this research programme.

This work has provided a suite of search resources that can be used by health professionals today for evidence on a range or topics including palliative care, heart failure, bereavement, dementia, and Aboriginal & Torrens Strait Islander health.

Website: Flinders Filters  

 

palliAGEDnurse

palliAGEDnurse is an app that helps nurses care for older people who have a disease or illness that cannot be cured or who are becoming frail. A palliative approach to care supports quality of life by planning and addressing needs as they arise. It covers:

  • Understanding the Palliative Approach Framework
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Palliative Care Case Conference
  • Terminal Care Planning

The palliative approach to care promotes safe and quality care that can reduce distress and manage pain and other symptoms in a timely way. The app can be used by all nurses regardless of the setting in which they practice.

palliAGEDnurse was designed and developed following a review of available digital resources for palliative care and aged care, which revealed a limited number of existing tools to support nurses in providing palliative care. The content is based on materials developed for the Decision Assist aged care workshops and learning modules. All content was reviewed by the palliAGEDnurse Review Group and the Guidance and Technological Innovation (GATI) Advisory Group.

An online-offline capacity means nurses can use the app anywhere in Australia. As the app is web-based, it can be updated as new evidence and resources are released. If more help is needed, clicking on the Phone Advisory Number (1300 668 908) will dial the Decision Assist telephone service connecting the user to a palliative care professional.

The palliAGEDnurse app can be downloaded from iTunes and Play online app stores. Nurses without a smartphone or who prefer to use web resources can access palliAGEDnurse through CareSearch and Decision Assist.

Website: palliAGEDnurse

 

Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC)

PaCCSC logo PaCCSC is a research group that consists of a Coordinating Agency (Flinders University), a governance structure including a Management Advisory Board (MAB), and a number of organisations that will be collaboratively involved in Phase 3 and Phase 4 clinical medication studies.

Phase 3 clinical studies will verify the effectiveness of individual medication in symptom management for palliative care patients, and Phase 4 (or pharmacovigilance studies) will provide additional data on the benefit to risk balance for individual medication including the use of medication in a normal clinical setting and in comparison with current practice.

The aims of the PaCCSC are to:

  • develop an efficient and effective method of generating research data that will support the listing of palliative care medicines on the ARTG;
  • to build the research capacity of the palliative care sector so that ongoing clinical medication studies can occur; and
  • to build the evidence base to support the ongoing implementation of studies on medicine use and quality practice in palliative care.

Website: Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC)      

PaCCSC Membership Information

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Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC)

PCOC logo PCOC is a national, voluntary, quality initiative established to assist palliative care providers across Australia to improve practice and meet the ‘Australian National Standards for the Provision of Palliative Care’.

With funding from the Department of Health and Ageing, PCOC is supporting specialist palliative care services to collect an agreed set of data items to measure outcomes for palliative care, and to establish national benchmarking activities that will contribute to improving the quality of care for palliative care patients.

PCOC is a collaboration of 4 Australian universities, including Flinders University, led by a group from the Centre for Health Services Development at Wollongong University.

Website: Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) 

 

Personalising Practice in Dementia Care (Dementia Dynamics)

Dementia Dynamics logo The aim is to build capacity across Australian residential aged care to deliver person-centred high quality dementia care through to the end of life. This national dissemination of evidence-based education e-resources and practice change tools will enable aged care facilities to provide dementia care education to a critical mass of staff and translate the best available evidence into effective approaches for staff to use in their everyday practice, thereby enabling staff to better address unmet needs and improve quality of life for residents with dementia. Implementation of the resource kit is facilitated by 30 national workshops and 18 months of follow-up web-based support.

Website: Personalising Practice in Dementia Care (Dementia Dynamics)  

  

Telehealth in the Home: Aged & Palliative Care in SA

The project is investigating the impact of telehealth support provided to the homes and primary residences of patients and carers in the Southern Adelaide and Fleurieu Region, based on a team approach that integrates the patient, their carers, general practitioners, primary health care providers, aged care facilities and specialist services.

The project is funded by the Australian Government under the National Broadband Network (NBN) Enabled Telehealth Pilots Program. This is the only pilot project in South Australia and the only one that will deliver specialist-led palliative care services and rehabilitation programs for elderly participants in their own homes.

Website: Telehealth in the Home: Aged & Palliative Care in SA 

 

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