Palliative care is a rapidly evolving, multidisciplinary field of practice. The types of evidence and knowledge produced within palliative care are accordingly varied and encompass many different types of research methodologies. Specific problems in research in the palliative care setting make some research exceedingly difficult to do, so that some study designs we might like to use to answer important questions relating to practice may never be available to us.
An evidence-based approach is one which turns to the evidence to answer clinical and service-related questions, and uses the best available evidence to do so. It involves appraising the quality of the evidence being used, and acknowledges the strength of the evidence for decision making.
As well as helping clinicians and consumers access evidence and evidence-based resources, CareSearch looked to what evidence was available to help design and produce the website. Research work from informatics, education and psychology was used to help design the page layouts and the information architecture. For example, research on font size and age  led to us to include the facility to increase font size. Research evidence on readability informed how the pages were worded and presented. [2,3] Evidence from evaluation methodology on formative processes was incorporated in usability testing activities.
CareSearch has actively researched key areas to inform the website’s development and use. For example, the PubMed searches were implemented following research work on how to identify and filter palliative care literature within the general and specialist literature.  The CareSearch Grey Literature was developed following identification of sources of missing
CareSearch also engages in primary research to understand the needs, concerns and preferences of our users so that we can provide relevant support. Through the Dying2Learn MOOC we gain insights into the attitudes of Australians towards death and dying. Through direct consultation with specific groups of users we learn of attitudes and needs in palliative care, and a major deliverable for 2018-2020 is developing and testing a structured framework to guide effective engagement to improve the support we provide in palliative care.
Last updated 02 August 2021