PALC8001 - Palliative Care Research - Theoretical, Practical, Ethical and Methodological Aspects


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2017/2018

Course content

A two weeks course covering theoretical, practical, ethical and methodological aspects of palliative care research, with main emphasis on biomedical research.
- Introduction to palliative care and palliative care research: definitions and concepts, main research areas and strategies, ethical and practical challenges related to studies in a palliative care population. The PhD education.
-Research methods and study designs
-Literature searches. How to read scientific papers.
-Protocol design, including background, eligibility criteria, outcome measures, monitoring of the data collection, reporting and analysis, publication policy.
-Protocol writing, approvals and procedures
-Ethical and legal regulations in biomedical and health care research
-Organisational aspects of palliative care research (multi-centre trials, trial office structure, data entry and management, monitoring procedures)
-Reporting of results, dissemination and publication processes, getting research evidence into practice

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student...
- should have a systematic understanding of palliative care as a specific area of health care, with its main characteristics and concepts
- should have a systematic understanding of the palliative care population and the specific challenges related to doing research in this population, such as low performance status, high attrition rates, comorbidities, cognitive failure, and ever-changing disease trajectory
- should have a systematic understanding of the main research areas in palliative care and relevant study designs and methods
- should have a systematic understanding of the main ethical, legal and administrative aspects of biomedical and health care research, including ethics approval, pharmacovigilance, data monitoring, and clinical trial infrastructure
- should have the ability to plan a study in a palliative care topic: formulate research questions and hypotheses, choose appropriate study design, develop a protocol outline, and understand the requirements for patient consent forms
- have the ability to perform systematic literature searches in scientific databases using appropriate key words
- should be capable of evaluation and critical appraisal of scientific papers presenting palliative care research, and prepare an abstract based on the findings
- should have a systematic understanding of the priniciples of writing a paper and the publication process
- should have the ability to prepare and give a presentation on a given research topic
- should have a systematic understanding of the PhD education and the responsibilities of the candidate and the tutor

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and group work during the two separate weeks at the NTNU and the University of Edinburg, respectively. The students will be given a home assignment in the period between the two weeks.

No. of lecture hours: 20 hours per week
Group work: 17 hours per week
The course will be taught in two separate weeks, the first at NTNU and the second at the University of Edinburgh.
Please note that the course may be cancelled if too few students register.

Compulsory assignments

  • All lectures, group work and home assignments are mandatory.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

The applicant must have a Master’s degree or equivalent education within a relevant field like medicine, genetics, pharmacology, physiology, health science, social science or others.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SMED8004 2.0 2012-09-01
SMED8005 1.5 2012-09-01


Detailed timetable


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.