How to Advance Palliative Care Research in South America? Findings From a Delphi Study

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2023-03-01

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Context: Progress in palliative care (PC) necessarily involves scientific development. However, research conducted in South America (SA) needs to be improved. Objectives: To develop a set of recommendations to advance PC research in SA. Methods: Eighteen international PC experts participated in a Delphi study. In round one, items were developed (open-ended questions); in round two, each expert scored the importance of each item (from 0 to 10); in round three, they selected the 20 most relevant items. Throughout the rounds, the five main priority themes for research in SA were defined. In Round three, consensus was defined as an agreement of ≥75%. Results: 60 potential suggestions for overcoming research barriers in PC were developed in round one. Also in Round one, 88.2% (15 of 17) of the experts agreed to define a priority research agenda. In Round two, the 36 most relevant suggestions were defined and a new one added. Potential research priorities were investigated (open-ended). In Round three, from the 37 items, 10 were considered the most important. Regarding research priorities, symptom control, PC in primary care, public policies, education and prognosis were defined as the most relevant. Conclusion: Potential strategies to improve scientific research on PC in SA were defined, including stimulating the formation of collaborative research networks, offering courses and workshops on research, structuring centers with infrastructure resources and trained researchers, and lobbying governmental organizations to convince about the importance of palliative care. In addition, priority research topics were identified in the region.

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Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, v. 65, n. 3, p. 193-202, 2023.

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