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. 

Research projects include:

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

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

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

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

Disability, Rights and Welfare: Rurality, Gender and Ethnicity
01/01/1900 → …

The spatial and social dynamics of public of public inclusion for people with dementia
01/01/1900 → …

International research

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

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

IOELC Research Seminars

During term-time, we hold Research Seminars every second month on days and times which we hope will suit both our global and local audience.

Seminar speakers across many disciplines are invited to speak about their research and/or experiences in the field of end of life care in the form of a 40 minute presentation. Staff and students of Lancaster University and especially all members of our IOELC Network group are invited to attend these seminars and are particularly invited to actively join in the discussion that follows the presentation.

If you wish to be kept updated about our future research seminars, we would encourage you to sign up for IOELC Network membership. For more information, visit the Network and people tab on this page.

Covid-19 Palliative Care Webinar - 9th July 2020, 1600-1700 BST

A series of three 10-minute presentations by guest speakers followed by online discussion via an online, Microsoft Teams meeting.

A free event, register your attendance.

IOELC Network

The Observatory is proud to have links with over 250 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).

Contact us

Catherine Walshe

Tel: (0)1524 510124


Nancy Preston 

Tel: (0)1524 592802


Anthony Greenwood
Information Officer

Tel: (0)1524 594976


International Observatory on End of Life Care
Division of Health Research
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Furness Building
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

Academic Staff

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International Observatory on End of Life Care

+44 (0)1524 510124 C052, C - Floor, Furness College

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