Background A strategic approach to the development of a portfolio of research gives direction and enables an organisation to plan, fund and conduct research systematically. At Princess Alice Hospice, a strategic approach to research development across the organisation was tailored from the 5 year strategy, as a focus to improve the quality of the palliative and end of life care provided locally, as well as contributing to the wider evidence base.
Aims Identify gaps in palliative and end of life care evidence Develop an research strategy in line with organisational strategy.
Methods A gap analysis of evidence in palliative and end of life care was undertaken though a review of relevant literature, focussing on the key areas previously identified through the organisational strategy. The analysis was then circulated to managers from different disciplines, both clinical and non-clinical, along with an open invitation to attend a research workshop. The workshop was used to facilitate consensus decision making in order to prioritise the focus of research over the next 2–3 years. The outcome of the workshop and key areas identified for research were then conveyed to the user group.
Results The workshop was attended by 17 staff members with good multiprofessional representation. Priorities identified in order were: partners and families; non-malignant disease and health promotion. Workshop discussion highlighted compassion and dignity as additional research areas, both topical and relevant across the organisation, and they were subsequently added to the priorities.
Conclusions Undertaking a gap analysis, with an overview of current evidence in palliative and end of life care research, alongside the 5 year strategy, provided focus for our organisational research priorities. A multiprofessional consensus approach allowed diversity and representation which translates into a richer decision making process as well as interest and engagement throughout disciplines in future research activity at the Hospice.
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