Strengthening palliative care delivery in an Australian hospital through nursing leadership: a mixed methods action research study

Project dates: 06/11/2020 - 01/09/2022

This research study runs across 3 phases and aims to improve inpatient palliative care within participating wards in Canberra Hospital, informed by patient and family reported experience data.

Phase 1 involves the collection of quality-of-care data from patients screened to be in their last 12 months of life (using the SPICT tool), and their carers. This data informs areas of unmet need from patient and carer perspectives and the co-design of a pragmatic and evidence-based intervention to test in order to improve care experience (Phase 2).

Phase 2 will test the intervention within a rapid action cycle approach to enable iterative changes to address needs as they emerge at the ward level.

Phase 3 involves the collection of data from inpatients with palliative care needs and their carers, again to see if there is any change in perceived quality of care over time.  Project activity and timelines are noted below:

  • Phase 1, March 2021 – June 2021: Co-design and developing understanding
  • Phase 2, July 2021 – March 2022: Implementation
  • Phase 3, April 2022 – September 2022: Reflect and plan

Project outcomes:

  • To build the capacity of nurse leaders at the Canberra Hospital to strengthen palliative care in accordance with inpatients and their family’s needs and preferences
  • To evaluate the impact of the co-design capacity building strategies at the patient, provider and systems levels
  • To seek the perspectives of nursing leaders about the co-design capacity building strategies to inform feasibility and acceptability
  • To understand the feasibility and acceptability of collection and reporting of patient and carer quality of care experience data.

Project partners:


Funding / Grants

  • Australian College of Nursing’s College Consortium Research Grant

Chief Investigators