Palliative care research

Our specialists participate in internationally recognised reviews in evidence-based care and influence the development of standards and principles that shape the delivery of safe and high quality end of life care in Australian hospitals.

They partner with universities and other health service providers to undertake research studies exploring a broad range of areas and setting the standards for best practice in palliative care.

Current research studies and trials 

Phase: Data collection

  • Evaluation of Bupa Program of Palliative Care Choices at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane.

  • A retrospective chart analysis examining two different methods for converting strong opioid analgesics to oral methadone in palliative patients with severe pain.

  • Genomic variation in symptom expression in Men with Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC).

  • An open label pilot study of oral water soluble contrast (Gastrografin) in addition to conservative medical management for the resolution of malignant bowel obstruction in adult participants.

  • A pragmatic, phase III, multi-site, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel arm, dose increment randomised trial of regular, low doe extended release morphine for chronic refractory breathlessness.

  • St Vincent's Private Hospital Community Specialist Palliative Care Team Actual and Avoided Admissions of Acute Hospital Audit.

Phase: Data collection completed

  • A randomised, controlled, double-blind study of oral methotrimeprazine versus oral haloperidol in patients with cancer and nausea not related to anticancer therapy.

  • Efficacy of sertraline for palliative management of refractory breathlessness: a randomised double-blind multi-site parallel arm controlled trial to assess relief of refractory breathlessness comparing oral sertraline and placebo.

  • Assessing the practice of Palliative Care doctors - what advice do they give palliative care patients about driving?

We recently updated two Cochrane systematic reviews on medically assisted nutrition and hydration for palliative care in adult patients and have submitted a protocol for “Water soluble contrast for malignant bowel obstruction.”

Research results are published at


Our collaborative research partnerships include Queensland Health, Mater Health Services, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC). We are a partner in a three-year Australian Research Council grant led by University of Queensland Sociologist Associate Professor Alex Broom.

More information

For more information call our Research Co-ordinator on 3240 1165 or email