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

Scientific advancement is a requirement for progress in palliative care (PC). Nonetheless, South American (SA) research still required improvement. For a study, researchers sought to create a set of guidelines to enhance PC research in SA.

A Delphi study involved 18 international PC specialists. Items were created in round one (open-ended inquiries); in round two, experts rated the significance of each item (from 0 to 10); and in round three, experts chose the 20 most pertinent items. The five key research priority themes in South Africa were identified throughout the rounds. In Round 3, most agreements (≥75%) constituted consensus.

In the first round, 60 viable solutions for removing obstacles to PC research were developed. In Round 1, 88.2% (15 of 17) of the experts also concurred on the need to establish a priority research agenda. In Round 2, a new recommendation was added, and the 36 most pertinent ones were defined. We looked at potential research directions (open-ended). In Round 3, 10 of the 37 things were deemed the most crucial. Regarding research priorities, the most pertinent areas were symptom control, PC in primary care, public policy, education, and prognosis.

Potential tactics for enhancing scientific research on PC in SA include encouraging the development of cooperative research networks, providing courses and workshops on research, setting up centers with the necessary infrastructure and trained researchers, and advocating before governmental bodies to convince them of the value of palliative care. Moreover, regional priority research areas were determined.