Providing high-quality safe palliative care requires high-quality clinically driven research. Little is known about how to optimise clinical research capacity in this field.
To understand interest and capacity to conduct clinical research in palliative medicine and identify key facilitators and barriers, by surveying palliative medicine consultants and academic trainees.
National online survey exploring experience in conducting research, including facilitators and barriers. Sent to all current UK palliative medicine consultants, and previous/current academic trainees. Descriptive statistics are reported with framework analysis of free text responses.
195 surveys were submitted including 15 respondents with Integrated Academic Training (IAT) experience. 78% (n=140/180) of consultants were interested in conducting research. Despite this enthusiasm, 83% had no allocated time within their job plan. 88% of those who undertook IAT would recommend IAT, but 60% reported difficulty transitioning from academic trainee to research active consultant.
Barriers to research included; insufficient research culture and integration, with small teams working in a mixture of National Health Service (NHS) and non-NHS settings, leading to isolated, silo working. Even those who had undertaken IAT, felt a ‘cliff edge’ in opportunities after completing IAT. Filling service gaps was routinely prioritised over research activity.
Palliative medicine consultants, including those who have completed academic training want to conduct research but overwhelming barriers limit activity. A palliative care-specific strategy that permeates different palliative care settings, promotes interspecialty collaboration and improves the current infrastructure for palliative care research to maximise gains from IAT and embed a research culture are suggested.