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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Feb;47(2):315-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2013.03.022. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Palliative care research in Africa: consensus building for a prioritized agenda.

Author information

1
HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York, New York, USA. Electronic address: richard2powell@yahoo.co.uk.
2
King's College London, Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, Cicely Saunders Institute, London, United Kingdom; Palliative Medicine Programme, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
3
African Palliative Care Association, Kampala, Uganda.
4
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
5
Division of Family Medicine, School of Public Health University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
6
Department of Palliative Medicine, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Palliative Care Centre, Malteser Hospital Bonn/Rhein-Sieg, Bonn, Germany.
7
Primary Palliative Care Research Group, General Practice Section, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
8
Anesthesia Department, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.
9
Makerere Palliative Care Unit, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
10
Department of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria; Centre for Palliative Care, Ibadan, Nigeria.
11
Gauteng Centre of Excellence for Palliative Care, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
12
Department of Medical Physiology, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
13
Mildmay Uganda, Kampala, Uganda.
14
Palliative Care Unit, Radiation and Isotope Centre, Khartoum, Sudan.
15
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
16
Open Society Foundations, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Palliative care research in Africa is in its relative infancy, with dedicated financial support extremely limited. Therefore, setting research priorities to optimize use of limited resources is imperative.

OBJECTIVES:

To develop a prioritized research agenda for palliative care in Africa.

METHODS:

We used a two-stage process involving palliative care professionals and researchers: 1) generation of an initial topic list at a consultative workshop of experts and 2) prioritization of that list using a consensus development process, the nominal group technique.

RESULTS:

Phase 1: 41 topics were generated across five groups, with several topics nominated in more than one group. Phase 2: 16 topics and three broad thematic areas were identified. The two most prioritized topics within each of the three themes were the following: Theme 1: patient, family, and volunteers-1) care outcomes and the impact of palliative care as perceived by patients and caregivers and 2) palliative care needs of children; Theme 2: health providers-1) impact of palliative care training on care and practice and 2) integration of palliative care and antiretroviral therapy services; and Theme 3: health systems-1) palliative care needs assessments at the micro-, meso-, and macro-levels and 2) integration of palliative care into health systems and educational curricula.

CONCLUSION:

Consensus-based palliative care topics determined by the study can assist researchers in optimizing limited research capacities by focusing on these prioritized areas. Subsequent to the identification and publication of the research agenda, concrete steps will be undertaken by the African Palliative Care Research Network and other partners to help implement it.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; palliative care; participatory; priorities; research agenda

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