Support and supervision in palliative care research

Clark, D. (2000) Support and supervision in palliative care research. Palliative Medicine, 14(5), pp. 441-446. (doi:10.1191/026921600701536156)

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There has been a remarkable growth in the extent of palliative care research activity in recent years, much of it driven by attempts to strengthen the evidence base of the speciality. This increase in research has stimulated some discussion about the implications for patients and informal carers of participating in studies that may make practical, emotional, even physical demands on them. In this article our focus is on a group often neglected in any consideration of the demands of palliative care research: the researchers themselves. Textbooks on research methodology in the health care sciences rarely give consideration to the experiences and concerns of those who undertake research work, although social scientists and feminist researchers have, in general, a better track record in this regard.1 Yet increasingly researchers in health care face numerous challenges. These may extend beyond individual research conduct. Research is, increasingly, a team activity that may require high levels of collaboration between different professional groups and disciplinary perspectives. Here the research team must engage with both political and personal issues. It might be argued that palliative care has certain special characteristics of its own in this regard. We start with an overview of the various elements that need to be taken into consideration when thinking about research support at the different stages in the ‘natural history’ of research projects. We then examine the stresses and strains of research for the individual team member, considering how organisations may provide supervision to enhance researcher well being. We then turn, in recognition of the increasing role of the multidisciplinary research team in palliative care studies, to issues relating to support that are of relevance to the whole research team, focusing particularly on the issue of collaboration. Throughout we try to offer some practical suggestions based on our own research experiences.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David
Authors: Clark, D.
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Palliative Medicine
Journal Abbr.:Palliat. Med.
ISSN (Online):1477-030X

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