Research and Collaborative Opportunities

DCCRP welcomes opportunities to partner with academic institutions, federal/state/trade organizations, and industry to advance our mission.

If you would like to discuss a potential project or research initiative, please contact Cheryl Brewer at (919)970-4902.

Sample activity in the development of research capacity:

  • DCCRP has partnered with Four Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care in Hendersonville, NC and with other leading national figures to develop a Palliative Care Research Network. Ultimately, this network will facilitate the conduct of high-quality research across sites, assist new sites in developing research capacity, and help to build the evidence base in palliative medicine.
  • DCCRP and the Duke Center for Health Care Policy Research are conducting several quality-focused studies, including an investigation of the extent to which reimbursement policies surrounding new drugs and medical devices influence patients’ interest in participating in clinical trials of those interventions, and an exploration of the extent to which there is potential conflict of interest in the development of “compendia,” i.e., the pharmaceutical listings of evidence-supported off-label drugs.

Sample topic areas in which we are currently involved, and/or welcome collaborators:

Research methodology:

  • Adaptation or development of innovative clinical trials methodologies that are appropriate for research in dying individuals.
  • Database development to support clinical outcomes evaluation in palliative care, cancer symptom control, and hematological malignancies.
  • Performance status scales in palliative care and oncology.
  • Symptom scales in palliative care and supportive oncology.
  • Search strategies to better enable researchers and clinicians to access difficult-to-find palliative care literature.
  • Methods of improving the generalizability of the palliative care literature.
  • Development of a palliative care clinical trials network.
  • Development of a nursing-based research network.

Supportive care:

  • New interventions to improve symptom control for cancer survivors, including patients undergoing cancer treatment, patients who have completed active treatment but experience lasting effects or their cancer, and patients who are dying from cancer.
  • The use of academic detailing (also called educational outreach visiting) to improve pain and dyspnea management for patients in palliative care.
  • The use of case conferencing to improve communication among health care providers in palliative care.
  • The role of morphine in opioid-naïve palliative care patients with maximally treated dyspnea.
  • The role of oxygen in patients with PaO2>55mmHg and refractory dyspnea nearing the end of life.
  • Whole person approaches to better cancer care
  • Mind-body-spirit approaches, and complementary and alternative modalities, for improving symptoms and quality of life in cancer patients.
  • Behavioral therapies for cancer pain.
  • Behavioral therapies for cancer-related insomnia.
  • Health services research and policy studies:
  • Health economics and resource utilization of palliative care service delivery.
  • Health economics and resource utilization of psychosocial services for cancer patients.
  • Methods for instituting needs-based palliative care on a population level.
  • Medication prescribing and usage in the palliative care setting.
  • A clinical decision and economic analysis model of cancer pain management.
  • Quality of cancer care and quality of palliative care.
  • Use of compendia for decisions regarding Medicare coverage of anti-cancer agents used for off-label indications.

Health services research and policy studies:
Health economics and resource utilization of palliative care service delivery.Health economics and resource utilization of psychosocial services for cancer patients.Methods for instituting needs-based palliative care on a population level.Medication prescribing and usage in the palliative care setting.A clinical decision and economic analysis model of cancer pain management.Quality of cancer care and quality of palliative care.Use of compendia for decisions regarding Medicare coverage of anti-cancer agents used for off-label indications.