International Observatory on End of Life Care (IOELC)

Welcome to the International Observatory on End of Life Care. We aim to conduct high quality cutting edge research and provide innovative educational programmes to improve palliative and end of life care for patients and family carers.

Our research

Excellent research: patient and carer focused research drawing from clinical and social science perspectives to contribute to end of life care knowledge, theory and practice.

Innovative education to prepare and inspire future leaders in palliative care research and practice.

Partnership for impact: working closely with local, national and international health and social care communities to create practical and academic impacts from our research and education.

Our research at the International Observatory on End of Life Care focuses on the following areas:

  • Care settings: exploring the impact of providing palliative and end of life care in settings such as nursing homes, community settings and prisons.
  • Models of palliative and supportive care provision: understanding how best to provide palliative and end of life care by exploring areas such as integrated service models, advance care planning and the use of volunteers.
  • Populations receiving palliative and supportive care: understanding the needs of older people and the ageing agenda, family carers, and those with non – malignant conditions such as dementia or stroke.
  • Clinical research: understanding how to improve a range of physical and psychosocial symptoms.
  • Research methods: improving how palliative care research is conducted through exploring issues such as study recruitment, evaluating complex interventions and ways of working with vulnerable and dying populations.
Graphic used with all IOELC marketing media

International research

Professor Sheila Payne talks about the International Observatory on End of Life Care's role in global research.

ACP Support – Online training in Advance Care Planning

Introducing our new online training resource in Advanced Care Planning (ACP) for Health Care Staff. The training is split into short units addressing such matters as key issues and principles of ACP; how to hold ACP conversations and ACP in emergency situations. Watch Professor Nancy Preston’s short video from the resource for an introduction and taster, available from the link below.

ACP Support Website
A screenshot of the ACP Support Staff Training units webpage

Introducing Namaste Care

This animation and companion booklet introduces how to plan and deliver Namaste Care in nursing home contexts, based on an NIHR HTA funded study led from IOELC

Read more

Current and Past Projects

Developing and refining a virtual reality intervention that will help to manage pain for people living with advanced cancer
01/06/2024 → 31/08/2025

Palliative Care, Design and Technology
01/04/2023 → 31/03/2024

DSI: Horizon Europe: 4D PICTURE: Design-based Data-Driven Decision-support Tools: Producing Improved Cancer Outcomes Through User- Centred Research
01/10/2022 → 30/09/2027

Horizon Europe: Pal-CYCLES: PALliative Care Yields Cancer welLbEing Support
01/09/2022 → 31/08/2027

Mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment: a mixed methods study to identify something about need and health service input?
01/04/2022 → 31/12/2024

Development of ‘use-cases’ for a digital palliative care bereavement service.
01/03/2022 → 31/08/2022

Developing palliative and end-of-life care research partnerships and capacity in the North West Coast of England
01/01/2022 → 30/06/2023

How can technology be used to support communication in palliative care beyond the COVID-19 pandemic?
01/01/2021 → 30/06/2021

DSI : Covid : Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on care home pathways, outcomes and safety of care
20/08/2020 → 19/08/2021

Rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic response by palliative and end of life care: national delivery, workforce and symptom management (CovPall)
20/04/2020 → 19/04/2021

Revision of the European Association for Palliative Care Recommended Norms and Standards in Palliative Care for Europe: a Delphi study
01/02/2020 → 31/01/2021

Local Principal Investigator for Clinical Research Projects
01/04/2019 → …

Local Principal Investigator on clinical studies
01/04/2019 → 30/01/2023

H2020 : MyPal: Fostering Palliative Care of Adults and Children with Cancer through Advanced Patient Reported Outcome Systems
01/01/2019 → 31/12/2022

MyPal: Fostering Palliative Care of Adults and Children with Cancer through Advanced Patient Reported Outcome Systems
01/01/2019 → 30/06/2022

The use of proportional palliative sedation for the relief of refractory symptoms: an international multicenter study
01/01/2019 → 30/06/2024

MOOC Palliative Care: Making it Work
02/07/2018 → 28/07/2018

Tender: To evaluate the Age UK End of Life Pathfinder
09/10/2017 → 31/03/2019

NIHR School for Primary Care Research (Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge): Establishing research priorities to improve the management of patients with advanced heart failure using the James Lind Alliance method £91,859
01/10/2017 → 01/04/2019

The Namaste Care intervention to improve the quality of dying for people with advanced dementia living in care homes: A realist review and feasibility study for a cluster randomised controlled trial
01/12/2016 → 31/03/2019

Using participatory action research to advance hospice care
01/11/2016 → 31/03/2019

Peer support to maintain psychological wellbeing in people with advanced cancer: A feasibility study for a Randomised Controlled Trial.
05/10/2015 → 04/10/2018

Evaluation End of Life EoL Social Action Fund
06/11/2014 → 30/06/2016

The spatial and social dynamics of public of public inclusion for people with dementia
01/10/2014 → 30/09/2017

Connections of Workplace Cultures, Patient Safety and Dignity
01/08/2014 → 19/12/2014

PACE: Comparing the Effectiveness of Palliative Care for Elderly People in Long Term Care Facilities in Europe
01/02/2014 → 31/01/2019

ACTION: A multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial of advance care planning - an innovative Palliative Care Intervention to Improve Quality of Life in Oncology (European Union FP7)
01/12/2013 → 31/12/2017

Both sides of the fence: using action research to improve end of life care for prisoners
01/06/2013 → 31/05/2016

Patient-centered integrated palliative care pathways in advanced cancer and chronic disease
01/11/2012 → 31/10/2016

Metaphor in End of Life Care
01/09/2012 → 28/06/2014

How can and should UK society adjust to dementia
01/03/2012 → 30/04/2012

Disability, Rights and Welfare: Rurality, Gender and Ethnicity
01/11/2011 → 01/03/2012

Unpacking The Home
01/06/2011 → 31/05/2013

European Intersectorial and Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Research Training
01/04/2011 → 31/03/2014

01/12/2009 → 30/11/2014

Measuring and demonstating the impact of user involvement on health and social care services for cancer in the UK
01/03/2008 → 30/11/2008

What are the views of people affected by cancer and other illnesses about end of life issues? carer perspectives.
01/08/2005 → 30/09/2005

What are the views of people affected by cancer and other illnesses about end of life issues? professional and patient perspectives.
01/08/2004 → 31/01/2005

Social Implications of the Increase in Wheelchair Use
01/04/2001 → 30/09/2004

Sickness Absence and employee behaviour
01/01/1999 → 01/01/2001

An exploration of the practical application of the Western palliative care model in the African context, and the viability of culturally appropriate “compassionate communities” model of care.
01/01/1900 → …

Enhancing integration of cancer and palliative care hospital services to meet the palliative care needs of patients with cancer
01/01/1900 → …

Immunotherapy and Palliative Care Trajectories (IMPACT): a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment to identify palliative care need.
01/01/1900 → …

Migration Motivation and Transition Experiences of African Migrant Nurses Working in Europe, Americas, and Australasia: A Mixed-Method Study
01/01/1900 → …

The use of the Western palliative model in managing patients in resource-poor settings; the challenges and way forward for Ghana.
01/01/1900 → …

Study with us

The International Observatory on End of Life Care offers advanced and innovative education programmes in palliative and end of life care. Our programmes are specifically designed to meet local and global needs, and facilitate learning between those working in different cultures and contexts. Programmes are designed to address the needs of both full and part time students, and many of our students work in the field of palliative and end of life care whilst also completing their studies.

Traditional PhD (by research and thesis) in Health Research

We offer supervision of research students in many areas of health-related social science. We welcome applications from students wishing to pursue research in the areas of palliative and end of life care highlighted as the focus of our research interests. We are particularly interested in supporting applications for those applying for externally funded fellowships.

PhD in Health Research

PhD in Palliative Care

The aim of this innovative part time blended learning course is to equip people working in palliative, hospice and end of life care to undertake advanced study within their chosen field, including clinical work, education, research, management, policy and advocacy.

PhD in Palliative Care

IOELC Research Network

The Observatory is proud to have links with over 520 individuals from around the globe, who have wide-ranging experiences in end of life care and have expressed an interest in our research and education activities. Known as the IOELC Research Network, membership of this group is purely voluntary and we encourage you to sign up to our mailing list, which is used to notify members of forthcoming research seminars/lectures, news updates from the Observatory and when additional resources, (like recorded seminar presentations), are available to view online or download.

Whether you have an interest in attending our research seminars either in person or online or you simply want to catch up on Observatory news and other events, we hope that this list membership will continue to be a rich source of information. At any time, you are free to unsubscribe from this list but we do hope that you will stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you to our network.

Please complete our membership form, providing your name, the email address you would prefer to be used for the email list, and your institution (if applicable).

Future Events

Events listed on this page are hosted either by us or in association with one or more of our partners. These include our regular Research Seminars, public lectures and student-focused webinars. Where possible, events will be in-person but with an option to join online. If you would like to be the first to hear about our future seminars, consider joining our IOELC Research Network.

More Events

IOELC News Roundup

A selection of recent news items can be accessed below.

Staff and Honorary Staff Members

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Contact us

Catherine Walshe

Tel: (0)1524 510124

Nancy Preston

Tel: (0)1524 592802

Anthony Greenwood
Information Officer



International Observatory on End of Life Care
Division of Health Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Health Innovation One
Sir John Fisher Drive
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Explore our archive


A collection of Research Network seminar resources to watch, read and download.

Explore the archive


A list of our publications from 1995 to present.

IOELC Publications