An examination of the research priorities for a hospice service in New Zealand: A Delphi study

Kay de Vries, Jo Walton, Katherine Nelson, Rhondda Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: dependent on multiple factors such as complex ethical decisions in designing and conducting the research; access to participants who may be deemed “vulnerable” and an increasingly medically focused approach to care. The aim of this studywas to inform organizational decision-making and policy development regarding future research priorities for a hospice service in New Zealand.Palliative care research is relatively diverse and prioritizing research in this field is Methods: from one dedicated specialist palliative care service that delivers care in the community, daycare, hospice inpatient, aged residential care, and acute hospital palliative care service. A purposive sample included palliative care staff ( volunteers ( and family carers were not involved in the third round.A modified three-round Delphi technique was employed. Participants were drawnn ¼ 10, 18, 9, for rounds 1–3, respectively)n ¼ 10, 12, 11); and patients and family carers (n ¼ 6, 8, for rounds 1 and 2). Patients Results: identified by staff and volunteers. These were: symptom management; aged care; education; community; patient and family; and bereavement support and young people. Patients and family carers agreed on four themes, made up of 10 research topics. These were: decision-making, bereavement and loss, symptom management; and recognition of need and response of service.At final ranking of six research themes encompassing 23 research topics were Significance of results topics. The perspectives of staff and volunteers are significantly different from those of patients and familymembers, in spite of the recognition by all concerned that palliative care services work within a philosophy of patient-centered care. Open discussion of ideas has the potential to engage both staff and patients and carers in quality improvement initiatives, and to reinforce the value of research for patient care.: The study generated a rich set of research themes and specific research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-240
Number of pages9
JournalPalliative & Supportive Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Research priorities, Palliative care, Hospice staff and volunteers, Family members, Delphi technique


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