Article Text

Palliative care research promotion in policy and practice: a knowledge exchange process
  1. Anne Finucane1,2,3,
  2. Emma Carduff3,4,
  3. Richard Meade5,
  4. Sarah Doyle6,
  5. Stephen Fenning7,
  6. Stuart Cumming8,
  7. Diana Hekerem9,
  8. Fariel Rahman10,
  9. Jean Lugton2,
  10. Bridget Johnston11,12 and
  11. Scott A Murray3
  1. 1 Clinical Psychology, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Policy and Research, Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3 Primary Palliative Care Research Group, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4 Policy and Research, Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow, UK
  5. 5 Policy and Research, Marie Curie Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  6. 6 Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  7. 7 NHS Fife Specialist Palliative Care Service, NHS Fife, Kircaldy, UK
  8. 8 NHS Forth Valley, Stirling, UK
  9. 9 Improvement Hub (iHub), Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  10. 10 Children's Hospice Association Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
  11. 11 School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  12. 12 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne Finucane, Clinical Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK; a.finucane{at}


In palliative care, as in many areas of medicine, there is a considerable amount of research conducted that makes sound recommendations but does not result consistently in improved care. For instance, though palliative care has been shown to benefit all people with a life-threatening illness, its main reach continues to be for those with cancer. Drawing on relational models of research use, we set out to engage policy-makers, educators, clinicians, commissioners and service providers in a knowledge exchange process to identify implications of research for Scottish palliative care priorities. First, we mapped the existing palliative care research evidence in Scotland. We then organised evidence review meetings and a wider stakeholder event where research producers and users came together to coproduce implications of the evidence for policy, education and practice. We used questionnaires and key stakeholder feedback meetings to explore impacts of this process on research uptake and use immediately after the events and over time. In this paper, we reflect on this knowledge exchange process and the broader context in which it was set. We found that participation fostered relationships and led to a rich and enthusiastic exploration of research evidence from multiple perspectives. Potential impacts relating to earlier identification for palliative care, education and need-based commissioning ensued. We make suggestions to guide replication.

  • bereavement
  • nursing home care
  • education and training
  • communication
  • chronic conditions
  • cancer

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  • Twitter @A_Finucane, @carer_research

  • Contributors AF, EC, SF, JL, BJ and SAM were involved in the scoping review. AF, EC, RM and SAM conceived of, and organised the evidence review meetings and wider stakeholder event. SD, SF, SC, DH and FR participated in the evidence review meetings as key stakeholders. AF, EC, SF, BJ and SAM facilitated evidence review meetings. BJ chaired the wider stakeholder event. AF and JL designed feedback questionnaires and analysed the data. AF drafted the manuscript. All authors provided critical content and agreed the final version.

  • Funding This work was supported by a small grant from the Scottish Government for the scoping review (£5893). Marie Curie funded the knowledge exchange event through its Policy and Public Affairs, Scotland Team (£750). Anne Finucane is funded by a Marie Curie Research Fellowship:

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.