The following is a summary of the “How to Advance Palliative Care Research in South America? Findings From a Delphi Study,” published in the February 2023 issue of Pain and Symptom Management by Paiva, et al.

There can be no advancement in palliative care (PC) without new scientific discoveries. However, there is room for improvement in SA research. The goal is to compile a list of suggestions that would further PC study in South Africa. A total of 18 PC professionals from around the world took part in the Delphi survey. The 1 item (open-ended questions) was developed; then, in Round 2, each expert rated the importance of each item (on a scale from 0 to 10); and, finally, in Round 3, the 20 most relevant items were chosen.

 The 5 most pressing areas of study in South America were identified over the course of the rounds. In Round 3, consensus was defined as an agreement of ≥75%. In the 1st round, researchers came up with 60 ideas for how to proceed with PC research in spite of the obstacles in your way. Also, in the 1st round, 88.2% of the experts (15 out of 17) agreed on a priority research agenda. The top 36 suggestions from Round 1 were further defined, and a new one was added for Round 2. Priorities for future research have been explored (open-ended). 

The 3 round cuts came from a list of 37, with only the 10 most crucial items remaining. Research priorities were defined, with symptom management, PC in primary care, public policy, education, and prognosis at the top of the list. Investigators defined potential strategies to improve scientific research on PC in SA, such as encouraging the formation of collaborative research networks, providing research-related courses and workshops, establishing research centers with necessary infrastructure and they, and lobbying governmental organisations to convince them of the importance of PC. Also, the region’s top research priorities were determined.