Our research interests

The strategic programming of research addresses the main issues in palliative and end-of-life care in regards to quality and accessibility. It includes all patients, without regards to age or diagnosis.

We agree with the WHO’s definition of palliative care, namely that they make up: ” an approach that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through the early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual”.

Moreover, we adhere to the definitions contained in the Act respecting end-of-life care:

  • Palliative care: “Total and active care delivered by an interdisciplinary team to patients suffering from a disease with reserved prognosis, in order to relieve their suffering, without delaying or hastening death, maintain the best quality of life possible and provide them and their close relations the support they need.”
  • End-of-life care: “Pallative care provided to end-of-life patients and medical aid in dying.”

Thus, our research activities support what is offered in terms of the care and services provided by the health and social services network, community organisations and palliative care hospices.

Research axes

The RQSPAL research programming breaks down into three axes:

Axis 1: Optimise the quality of life of the patient in palliative and end-of-life care

This research is focused on:

  • Clinical and psychosocial research;
  • Symptoms management;
  • Development of better practices of care and treament;
  • Improvement of decision-making.

Axis 2: Interdisciplinary researchers interested in pediatric palliative care

Pediatric palliative care is specialized, active and comprehensive care, which takes into account the physical, psychological, social, spitirual and developmental dimensions of a child and his family. Pediatric palliative care are intended for all children with a life-threatening condition, as well as their families, loved ones and caregivers.

This research is focused on:

  • The transition to pediatric palliative care (developmental stages including the gradual emergence of a concept of self and autonomy) as well as considerations linked to the the organization of health care (fragmentation of care in specialties, provision of care in various environments, etc.)
  • Suffering in palliative care (this concept is especially complex in palliative care since a significant proportion of the literature on this subject is based on the perception of parents or relatives of the suffering experienced by the child. However, the voice of the child is essential here, although sometimes sidelined given the difficulty of having access to his inner world.)
  • Parents, family, relatives and caregivers;
  • Inter-axis projects.

Axis 3: Improve accessibility and equity in the delivery of care and treatment

This research is focused on:

  • Innovations in programs and delivery models;
  • Economic and ethical issues surrounding access and delivery.

Le RQSPAL est soutenu financièrement par le Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé.