Evidence from research is a powerful means of determining if treatments are effective. Research evidence suggests that care planning and delivery is an important aspect of care provision which requires respecting the needs and wishes of the person. Preferences for care may also be influenced by cultural, spiritual and community norms and practices. These are important sources of knowledge and information that should guide palliative care planning for any individuals and their families.
About Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice is an approach to care that encourages clinicians to use the best available evidence and critically apply it to the individual patient’s circumstances and preferences in clinical practice. In the era of evidenced-based practice, research is a vital component of current and future health practice.
There has been a rapid growth in published research which can make it difficult for health professionals to be aware of all the latest evidence. The following resources make it easier to find evidence relevant to palliative care and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
Literature Searching Resources
- CareSearch PubMed Search provides one click searching for palliative care literature, and includes a search specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander palliative care
- CareSearch Systematic Review Collection provides a section listing systematic reviews relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- CareSearch Grey Literature Search provides easy searching of a database that captures palliative care information and evidence that can be hard to find (eg, from conference abstracts, theses, and non-indexed journals)
- LItSearch at the Lowitja Institute provides one click searching for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health literature
- PHC Search Filter provides one click search for primary health care literature
- Indigenous HealthInfoNet webpages on palliative care provides policies and strategies, programs, resources and workforce information relevant to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Indigenous HealthInfoNet Bibliography provides a searchable database of literature about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
National Responses Relevant to Palliative Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
There have been a number of national responses that are relevant to palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These projects and programs can contribute to the care and outcomes of palliative care patients and their families across Australia. You can read about these initiatives in a summary of National Responses.
Building the Evidence Base
There is a need for more research on palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, especially in the areas of models of care and service delivery, family-centred care and the role of culture. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research should be guided by the principle of "nothing about us, without us". Research opportunities, significance, and success will be greatly enhanced by partnerships between researchers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There is a range of research resources that can be accessed by the health care workforce who wish to undertake research work in this field. They include:
- CareSearch provides:
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provides:
- The Lowitja Institute provides:
- National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) was established in 2012 under the Special Research Initiative (SRI) for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Researchers’ Network (ATSIRN). Although the program is now coming to a close on the NIRAKN website you can read about some of the research projects undertaken and the people involved.
- Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet provides:
- South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) provides:
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) provides:
- Australian Health Review provides:
Next: National Responses
Last updated 15 April 2020