The aim of research is to generate new knowledge. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is a major funder of research in Australia and offers the following on research: The concept of research is broad and includes the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions, and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative. 
An evidence gap, novel observation, or finding.
The creation of new knowledge.
Research outcomes that come closest to the facts form evidence.
Conducting research in palliative care is complex. This partly reflects the diversity of populations and contexts of care. In research terms van der Steen  note that palliative care research includes a focus on a very diverse range of issues including:
The volume of research in palliative care is rapidly increasing but quality remains an obstacle to generating evidence.  There are many challenges that are unique to or significant in palliative care as a research setting:
In an extensive review of research in palliative care, Bouca-Machado 2017 note – ‘the first step in generating not just valid, but also generalisable knowledge, is to clearly define palliative care populations, types of intervention and time to referral, establishing a common lexicon for clinicians and researchers’.  Almost a decade earlier, Currow  proposed a framework comprising five domains to standardise description of palliative care populations, providers, services, and policy and research contexts. This might improve generalisability across both quantitative and qualitative research.
Knowing where there is no evidence, i.e., evidence gaps, can also help you by indicating where to focus your research. From a clinical perspective evidence gaps may mean that you are more reliant on expert consensus and research conducted in other populations until an evidence base can be established.
See CareSearch Clinical Evidence (synopsis)
CareSearch Clinical Evidence summaries for palliative care across the life-course and the palliAGED Evidence syntheses for care of older people both list gaps in palliative care evidence.
palliAGED Evidence Centre
You can learn more about research at the Research Centre for Palliative Care Death & Dying, RePaDD.
Visit the RePaDD website
Page created 19 April 2022