A new resource for the aged care sector: Palliative care content in the ARIIA Knowledge and Implementation Hub

A new resource for the aged care sector: Palliative care content in the ARIIA Knowledge and Implementation Hub

A blog post written by Dr. Raechel Damarell

Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA) was officially launched by the Honourable Annika Wells, Federal Minister for Aged Care, at Flinders University in August 2022. This Government-funded enterprise works directly with the Australian aged care sector to build its workforce capabilities. Its approach is to equip those working in the sector to identify problems that challenge how they provide care, its quality, or effectiveness. Assisted by ARIIA staff, aged care ‘innovators’ and their organisational ‘sponsors’ are then guided to find evidence-based solutions that might address their challenges.

The ARIIA Knowledge and Implementation Hub

Key to the ARIIA venture is the Knowledge and Implementation Hub (KIH). The Hub is an online resource bringing together high-quality Australian information and learning resources specifically designed for the aged care workforce. It also provides short ‘evidence themes’ summarising the research evidence for the sector and providing practical advice on how it might be implemented. Staff with the Hub have, to date, created content for six topics in aged care. The aged care sector nominated these topics as its main areas of concern based on two annual ARIIA national surveys.  These topics are:

  • Dementia care
  • Rehabilitation, reablement, and restorative care
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Social isolation
  • Palliative care and end of life (content released in October)
  • Meaningful lifestyle activities (content released in October).

The Hub also provides guidance and information, largely from Commonwealth Government agencies, on topics termed ‘urgent and critical need’. This currently includes infection control and COVID-19 resources; however, we expect this content to grow as the sector nominates further issues for which it requires guidance.

Palliative care content in the ARIIA Knowledge & Implementation Hub

Palliative care emerged as a priority topic in the second workforce survey. We have now developed content and identified resources on this topic that can be used by the aged care workforce through the Hub. This content draws on some of the excellent resources already provided by the CareSearch, palliAGED, and ELDAC projects, but with a clear emphasis on direct care workers - a large but often underserved group when it comes to evidence and its implementation into care practices. How to get evidence (and the concept of evidence and its translation) to a diverse care workforce is a challenge. Making it mobile by pushing out short, tailored messages through channels such as Twitter and Facebook is one approach we are exploring within a broader social media strategy.

The 63 palliative care resources in the Hub were identified using an environmental scan methodology involving Google searches, a review of key Australian palliative care websites, and advice from an Evidence Advisory Group comprising palliative care experts and practitioners. To be included, items needed to be of an informative, educational, or practical nature and conform to a set of quality criteria, including currency and author authority. They include a wide range of item types including e-learning modules, guidelines, podcasts, videos, and toolkits.  All Hub resources can be searched according to the preferred format, target audience, and setting of interest (e.g. home care or residential aged care).

Three evidence themes, with more to come, are now available in the Hub. These are advance care planning, acute care transfers, and communication at end of life. Evidence themes were mapped from the findings of a scoping review of systematic reviews on palliative care within the aged care sector. Over time, this evidence from the research will be accompanied by a series of blogs written by people with interesting perspectives on, or experiences in providing palliative care to those in receipt of home or residential aged care. Each theme is also supported by a PubMed search that takes you directly to the evidence within PubMed for that subject area, as well as a list of Australian palliative care projects and research initiatives for those interested in knowing what is currently being investigated or seeking projects recruiting for participants. 

We invite you to visit the palliative care content within the Knowledge & Implementation Hub.

Profile picture of Raechel Damarell
Dr Raechel Damarell
Senior Research Fellow
ARIIA Knowledge and Implementation Hub
ARIIA, Flinders University



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The views and opinions expressed in Palliative Perspectives are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.