CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

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PCACE Project: Developing and maintaining guidance for palliative care in aged care

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

  • 9 August 2016
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 4552

The release of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC) were a significant advance in recognising and responding to changing population demography in Australia.  They aimed to support the provision of palliative care for older people living in the community or in residential aged care by identifying and evaluating the evidence for care to promote quality of life for older Australians who have a life-limiting illness or who are becoming progressively frailer during old age. The two sets of guidelines were important landmarks nationally and internationally. 

The APRAC Guidelines were released in 2006 and the COMPAC Guidelines were published in 2011. Each of the guidelines reflected the evidence base at the time of publication but new evidence has emerged and there is a need to ensure that this evidence is reflected in palliative care guidance for the aged care sector.  A new project called Palliative Care in Aged Care Evidence (PCACE) is developing an online evidence resource for palliative care in aged care that incorporates the scope of guidance found in the APRAC and COIMPAC guidelines.

Being online means that guidance is available and accessible when it is needed. It will also make it easy to update guidance as new evidence emerges. This resource will provide knowledge for clinical decision making and for the service and practice elements of care. Quality resources, information and links to other projects, and practice tools will form an important part of the content.

Developing authoritative guidance requires input from many different groups. This guidance resource will be developed by the CareSearch Project Team which is responsible for the CareSearch website (  The project will be overseen by a National Advisory Group comprising of key stakeholders from the sector and it will be informed by the content experts and evidence assessment experts who are members of the Evidence Advisory Group.  The project will also access expertise in evidence retrieval and translation from within the CareSearch project to ensure that the evidence is ready for use. Consultation will involve the aged care and palliative care sectors as well as other projects working in aged care and palliative care.

The PCACE Project will use robust quality processes to ensure the trustworthiness and relevance of the online resource that is being developed. The content of the APRAC and COMPAC Guidelines is being mapped to inform the scope of the evidence to be provided. Existing guidelines, systematic reviews, practice resources and project tools are being reviewed for inclusion within the PCACE resource. The project will also seek to identify evidence gaps and areas where the evidence is inconsistent. There will also be review processes and usability testing to make sure that this evidence resource is relevant and useful for intended users.

The new online resources will be released before 30 June 2017. Project pages within the CareSearch website will provide information on the progress of the project and a PCACE Project newsletter will make sure the sector is aware of the project and its purposes.

To find out more or to express your interest in being involved, please send an email to

Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services



2 comments on article "PCACE Project: Developing and maintaining guidance for palliative care in aged care"

Rosalie Hudson

12/08/2016 1:14 PM

Dear Jennifer

I'm absolutely delighted to see renewed interest in these guidelines. As you know, I was the Victorian Project Manager from 2002-4 involved in the development of the guidelines for residential aged care and continue to quote/teach from them. I've made several attempts over the years to check whether/when they were to be updated and to register my interest in any such proposal.

Please feel free to contact me if you believe there's an opportunity for my involvement.



Jennifer Tieman

16/08/2016 5:39 PM

Great to hear from you, Rosalie and I will look forward to your input as the project continues. We welcome comments, feedback and suggestions. We'd also appreciate people letting us know about resources developed within the sector relevant to palliative care in aged care and projects that are underway as well.


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