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The Palliative Care Research Network presents:

A Little Bit of Money Goes a Long Way -
Research updates from our PCRN Small Project Grant recipients

So what have our 2017 PCRN Small Project Grant recipients been up to? How are their research projects progressing?

Please join us at our upcoming forum where we will focus on the background and rationale for their research, methodologies employed, results and implications for clinical practice, as well how they have responded to the research challenges which they have encountered. 


‘Mapping patterns of care for people with pancreatic cancer: how close are we to the optimal care pathway recommendations?’ by Ms Allison Drosdowsky (Researcher, Statistics and Research Methodology, Department of Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC)

Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancer types, and people with pancreatic cancer can experience a range of symptoms including pain, weight loss and high rates of anxiety and depression. In order to determine where improvements can be made to patient outcomes, the pathways of a cohort of Victorian pancreatic cancer patients will be mapped and compared to the consensus-based optimal care pathways developed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Cancer Council Victoria. Timely referral to palliative care services is a key component of the optimal care pathway, and has the potential to deliver a range of beneficial patient outcomes.

‘Understanding patients’ and family members’ clinical trial experiences and perspectives about palliative care’s relevance’ by Dr Justin Dwyer (Medical Director, Department of Psychosocial Cancer Care, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, VIC)

It can be difficult for cancer patients and their doctors to strike the right balance between realistic expectations and wishful thinking. As clinical trials become more accessible, managing this tension has become increasingly important and there is evidence that those patients who are taken off the investigational product struggle, both psychologically and physically. Our project seeks to understand the experience of patients and their care-givers after the trial treatment has been withdrawn with regards to their initial consent, their interpretation of events as they entered then left the trial, and their experiences around palliative care. The results may be helpful in future trial design, and in planning palliative care service provision.  

‘Understanding spiritual views and requirements of caregivers of people living with serious illnesses’ by Dr Clare O’Callaghan (Research Associate, Department of Palliative and Supportive Care, Cabrini Health, VIC)

Palliative care providers need to explore spiritual requirements of those affected by serious illnesses to address existential concerns and spiritual pain. There remains, however, limited Australian related data. Findings from mixed methods, multi-site research involving 100 informal palliative caregivers will be presented. Survey data will elucidate understanding of associations between caregivers’ spiritual well-being, levels of spirituality, spiritual concerns and support received. Opt-in interview data will highlight what enables caregivers to connect with that deemed sacred/important. Findings will extend understanding of how health services can offer spiritual care aligned with caregivers’ requirements and promote development of innovative spiritual palliative care approaches.


Date: Tuesday, 28th August 2018

Time: 5:00 pm - 6:05 pm followed by networking drinks

Venue: Level 2, Clinical Sciences Building, St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, 29 Regent St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

RSVP: This is a free event.

*Please register online by COB Monday 20th August 2018 to secure your place: REGISTER HERE

*This forum will be available online via a webinar and in person (please select your preference when registering).

Please note for webinar users:

You must have a computer that is connected to the internet to see the presentation slides and either audio that runs through your computer (earphones are recommended) or a telephone connection that you can dial in to follow the conversation. The logins and connection details will be emailed three days prior to the Forum. Please also note that we do not provide any technical support should you encounter any connection problem.

PCRN Forum Flyer: Download the event flyer
View the Program here




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