Research and Impact
Pallium conducts and participates in research to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of palliative care education including determining the benefits for patients, providers, health care system and advancing palliative care in Canada. Pallium’s research is also critical to inform the continuous improvement of its palliative care courses and resources. From inquiry to data generation and data analysis, research helps to identify best practices that are evidence informed. Pallium is committed to sharing and applying these best practices and to continual improvement of its own courses and materials.
This page highlights Pallium’s direct contributions to the scientific literature on palliative care and recognizes the incredible contributions of partners and the impact that their work has had to support the palliative care approach and transform the way health care professionals care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Pallium Canada's story
Read the four foundational publications that tell the story of Pallium Canada’s evolution, from the pedagogical theory behind LEAP to the success behind spreading and scaling the palliative care approach.
- Primary-level Palliative Care National Capacity: Pallium Canada in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care covers Pallium’s evolution, the national spread of its education and compassionate communities’ programs, while discussing what factors play in the acceleration and impeding of these resources.
- Pallium Canada’s Curriculum Development Model: A Framework to Support Large-Scale Courseware Development and Deployment in the Journal of Palliative Medicine explores the framework that allows Pallium to develop, launch, and maintain numerous versions of LEAP courses concurrently.
- Navigating Design Options for Large-Scale Interprofessional Continuing Palliative Care Education: Pallium Canada’s Experience in Palliative Medicine Reports describes the learning design decisions that underpin Pallium’s interprofessional LEAP courses.
- Learner Experiences Matter in Interprofessional Palliative Care Education in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management demonstrates that taking an interprofessional approach to palliative care education is possible and can be a positive learning experience for most learners across professions.
The Dr. Joshua Shadd — Pallium Canada Research Hub at McMaster University
Pallium and McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine launched Canada’s first palliative care educational research hub in 2019. The Research Hub undertakes work to advance palliative care educational research and measure the impact of continuing professional development on the health care system.
An evaluation and research framework to guide Pallium’s activities
Pallium and the Dr. Joshua Shadd — Pallium Canada Research Hub at McMaster University have developed an Evaluation and Research Framework to help with the study of Pallium’s programs and the impact of these programs. Led by a team of international experts and researchers from the Research Hub, this framework will inform how Pallium will evaluate programs and identify opportunities for exciting scholarship.
The framework describes key areas or constructs that need to be evaluated or studied to understand the impact of Pallium’s programs—such as LEAP and the Palliative Care ECHO Project—and their implementation. ‘Impact’ refers to the impact of the programs on participants, patients, the workplace, and the health care system. ‘Implementation’ refers to answering the questions, “What works, for whom, in what respects, to what extent, in what contexts, and how?”
Continuous evaluation is important to help with ongoing quality improvement efforts of Pallium’s work and to understand the factors that lead to success.
Building a national palliative care Atlas
The Dr. Joshua Shadd — Pallium Canada Research Hub is leading the development of a Canadian Palliative Care Atlas to map out existing strengths, areas of excellence, and gaps across regions and provinces with respect to palliative care service availability. The Atlas will showcase a graphical representation of the status of palliative care in Canada and serve to advance a systems-thinking approach to health care by identifying several benchmarks of excellence and leadership.
The project’s initial pilot was completed in 2021 and involved three regions in Ontario. The year came to a close with an agreement with the University of British Columbia to begin the implementation of a pilot in the province of British Columbia. Lessons learned from these pilots will inform further rollout of the Canadian Palliative Care Atlas across the country in 2022.
This project is a first of its kind in Canada; no mechanism currently exists to systematically collate this data from an entire sector and to make it available in one single repository or access point.
LEAP is impacting how palliative care is delivered
Pallium has used its Evaluation and Research Framework to explore if and how LEAP learners implement what they learn into practice, using commitment-to-change reflections. In commitment-to-change, learners are asked to commit to making changes to their practice as a result of participating in a LEAP course. Several months later, they are prompted to reflect on their commitments, self-report on the extent to which they implemented them, and describe the impact of the changes.
Pallium’s Scientific Officer, Dr. José Pereira, alongside Dr. Lynn Meadows, Dragan Kljujic, and Tina Strudsholm, published an article that analyzes LEAP learner’s 4-months post-course commitment reflections and finds that 72.5% of commitments were implemented into practice. This large study provides evidence, through commitment-to-change statements and reflections, that LEAP courses directly benefit patients, health care professionals and primary care services.
Read Do learners implement what they learn? Commitment-to-change following an interprofessional palliative care course in Palliative Medicine now.
Partnering to achieve impact
Read a few examples of how Pallium Canada has helped partners build palliative care capacity and achieve impact.
Contributing to thought leadership in palliative care
Pallium’s Scientific Officer and other members of the Pallium community author and co-author numerous articles contributing to the advancement of palliative care in Canada. Take a look at some of the most recent publications:
- Shortages of Palliative Care Medications in Canada during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Gambling with Suffering in Healthcare Quarterly explores the nature of shortages of important drugs used in palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies to mitigate against these shortages.
- COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment in the Home: Navigating the Complexity of Donning and Doffing in the Annals of Family Medicine and focuses on donning and doffing personal protective equipment as it relates to home visits.
- Building Capacity for Palliative Care Delivery in Primary Care Settings in Canadian Family Physician focuses on a mixed methods evaluation of the INTEGRATE project, a 3-year pilot project involving interprofessional palliative care education, including our very own LEAP Core, and an integrated care model to promote early identification and support of patients with palliative care needs. [See also Pallium’s impact paper on the INTEGRATE Project.]
A complete list of Pallium’s publications and reports can be found in the Research Archive Library below.