What an evidence-based approach means depends on your perspective

Palliative care is focused on quality of life and your preferences or those of the person you care for are central to providing quality care. Evidence helps by showing us the most likely outcomes of events or actions across this time. For example, the most likely symptoms and care needs with a given diagnosis or the likely impacts of care decisions and interventions. 

For some people, palliative care planning and decision-making may extend over many years while for others, issues may need to be considered within a shorter time span. Understanding what research has found can help you consider options and courses of action and how they fit with your personal circumstances. This is true whether it be to control pain and other symptoms, or to plan where and how care is provided.


As a patient or family member, evidence helps you to:

  • Make informed decisions and plans based on knowing the most likely outcomes with your choices
  • Assess different options and consider how they fit with your individual circumstances
  • Access quality care
  • Have confidence in your care team.

As a health professional, evidence helps you to:

  • Provide the best possible standard of care
  • Be confident in the care you provide
  • Be conscious of why you consider the research evidence may need to be reviewed for a particular client
  • Identify where care can be improved and know the steps to take
  • Support patients and their families to make informed decisions
  • Meet professional and system level standards and indicators.

As a service provider, evidence helps you to:

  • Provide consistent and quality palliative care
  • Offer a transparent base for treatments, service models and care delivery
  • Support staff with self-care and professional development
  • Manage resources
  • Meet care standards and indicators.

Tell us what you think

Evidence matters to me because...