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Learn, connect and collaborate at next month’s Palliative Care Research Colloquium

Centre for Palliative Care director Professor Peter Hudson.

The Centre for Palliative Care is encouraging doctors, registered nurses and allied healthcare professionals who care for patients with advanced disease to attend the 5th Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium in Melbourne next month.

Centre director, Professor Peter Hudson, says the colloquium is not only targeting specialist palliative care providers, as most Australians with advanced disease will be cared for outside of this specialist setting.

“It is important for health services to consider this for their staff as a professional development opportunity,” says Professor Hudson.

“It really is about trying to upskill health care providers involved in the care of people with advanced disease, so they are aware of the latest science around key aspects of palliative care provision.”

He says the colloquium was not exclusive to researchers and content would be pitched appropriately for care providers interested in how evidence can inform practice.

“We are expecting people like nurse unit managers from aged care and general medical wards, oncology outpatient clinical staff, staff from renal units and community health providers.”

Professor Hudson said the event will be capped at about 100 attendees, and that unlike a conference format, there would be no concurrent sessions.

“This is a unique meeting in that it is deliberately set up as an intimate opportunity to discuss in detail evidence-based matters related to palliative care and provide an opportunity for people to establish relationships locally, statewide and interstate. We are mindful that to build on best evidence requires collaboration.”

Keynote speaker Professor Hal Swerissen from Grattan Institute and La Trobe University, co-wrote the Institute’s much-cited Dying Well report. Drawing on the report, Professor Swerissen will speak at the colloquium about how palliative care research can influence health policy.

The colloquium, on 26-27 October, will also cover:

  • Conducting research in clinical education: how data can demonstrate efficacy and drive practice change.
  • Program logic: Preparation prevents poor performance – using planning frameworks to develop, conduct and measure the impact of your research.
  • Clinical trials: Changing the world.
  • All you need to know about the methodological insights when conducting palliative care research involving complex populations.
  • The world needs to know about your research: Using social media to disseminate your work.

A pre-event workshop will explain how to communicate research to the general public in a language that is understandable to those who don’t work in the medical field.

Professor Hudson says when he started working in palliative care as a registered nurse, more than 25 years ago, the first edition of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine had just been published and there were only a few palliative care journals. There was a heavy reliance on clinical experience, which he says should never be undervalued, but clinicians didn’t have the same opportunity to ensure their care was based on good research and not causing harm.

“Since that time it is pleasing to see the evolution of evidence-based practice in palliative care and now we have more than 20 journals that regularly publish palliative-care-related content and an overwhelming number of books and textbooks.

“There has been a significant shift in the landscape in regard to the evidence base underpinning palliative care and some great novel initiatives that have been published on a regular basis. It has now come to the point where it is hard for clinicians to keep abreast of the volume of new evidence that is emerging, and not only to be aware of it but be able to discern what they should be putting into practice.

“Colloquiums such as ours provide an opportunity to come and discuss the best ways for gathering evidence – and also disseminating that information – so it is digestible and fosters implementation in the real world of clinical practice.”

For further information and to register, visit


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