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Research Incubator

The PalC research incubator aims to provide mentorship and guidance to aspiring investigators who are interested in conducting research related to palliative care but may not have the knowledge and expertise to carry out their studies independently yet. It seeks to nurture and cultivate their interest and passion so that they can develop and go forth to conduct their own studies in future.

Prospective principal investigators (PI) are encouraged to discuss potential research ideas with a PalC research team member or email their interest and ideas to research@palc.org.sg using the research proposal form here. If an idea is shortlisted, the prospective PI will be required to submit a detailed proposal.

Prospective PIs are to present the proposal to the PalC research committee. Feedback will be provided during the presentation and through emails, and PIs are required to revise their proposals based on the feedback. Once the proposal is approved by the PalC research committee, PIs can go on to apply for ethics application. PalC would designate a research member to provide advisory support and guidance throughout the project.

Successful PIs are required to provide regular updates on the status of their projects at research forums or any other platforms as requested by the PalC research committee, so that any issues or concerns can be addressed in a timely manner.

We look forward to hearing from you. Please email us at research@palc.org.sg if you have any queries or to discuss your research ideas.

Research Studies

  • Ongoing
The Dignity in Advanced Dementia (DIADEM) Study
October 2014 - Present


The prevalence of dementia is increasing globally but support for symptoms and end-of-life care for advanced dementia patients living at home is lacking. The aim of the study is to develop a home care programme comprising a multi-disciplinary team of professionals with palliative and geriatric skills, to care for patients with advanced dementia at home and support caregivers. Working in close collaboration with the hospital and inpatient hospice, the programme’s effectiveness will be evaluated based on healthcare utilisation, health economic analysis and caregiver’s satisfaction with care provided. Data collected from the study will also be used for survival analysis in order to build a prognostic model which will inform the timely introduction of palliative care services for patients with advanced dementia.

Prediction of Survival in Advanced Dementia: Developing Prognostic Models
July 2018 - Present


The primary aim of this study is to identify predictive variables in end stage dementia which would indicate survival of 1 year of less while the secondary aim is to develop prognostic models incorporating both generic and dementia specific variables that would be validated for predictive accuracy in end stage dementia.

Development and Evaluation of a novel Narrative e-Writing Intervention (NeW-I) for Parents of Children with Life-Limiting Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial for Advancing Holistic Paediatric Palliative Care and Parental Bereavement Support
October 2018 - Present


Conventional grief support interventions for parents whose children are terminally ill often begin only after the child’s death. Evidences show that pre-loss interventions can help parents cope better with grief. Research has found that the narrative approach helps individuals get in touch with emotions that are challenging to accept and generate new meaningful stories about life. Hence, the Narrative e-Writing Intervention (NeW-I), a therapist-facilitated online platform was developed for parents anticipating the death of their child to reflect on their experiences and emotions.

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of the NeW-I which aspires to improve the quality of life and emotional well-being of parents facing the terminal illness and eventual death of their child. The research findings hope to inform and enhance holistic pediatric palliative care locally and internationally.

The Cost of Care in Advanced Dementia: Blessing or Burden?
April 2019 - Present


The objective of this study is to compare the longitudinal mental health outcomes and to examine the lived experiences of family caregivers of advanced dementia patients living (with and without palliative care support) in the community and institutions (ie nursing home).

Mindful Compassion Art-Based Therapy for Dementia Caregivers (MCAT-DC)
April 2019 - Present


The objectives of this study are to develop a disease-specific version of MCAT for Dementia Care (MCAT-DC) and the feasibility of having a standardized protocol for supporting and sustaining dementia caregiving in Singapore and other Asian Societies. The aim is to assess its effectiveness for reducing family caregivers’ stress, perceived burden, depressive symptoms and distress, enhancing resilience, hope, spirituality, meaning and quality of life.

Characteristics of Palliative Homecare Patients at the Final Place of Care within an Integrated Healthcare Model
June 2019 - Present


The primary aim of the study is to describe the characteristics of palliative homecare patients whose final place of care is amongst one of the three care sites within an integrated healthcare model i.e. home, hospital or inpatient hospice, while the secondary objective is to examine if the final place of care is in accordance with patients’ wishes and the congruence between patients’ and families’ wishes.

Movie Reflection for Junior Doctors working in Palliative Care Units
September 2019 - Present


Literature has the power and ability to inspire and shape our thinking. Incorporating literature into a doctor’s palliative posting experience gives them a chance to reflect upon their own values and practice and thereby improve their understanding of palliative care. It is important for doctors to refer to death as it is and be able to reflect on it and learn how to help patients and themselves cope with it. Hence, we decided to start a movie club, screening a movie with palliative themes for doctors. Our aim is to explore the emotional challenges faced by junior doctors rotating through palliative care, as well as to evaluate if a structured reflective tool such as a movie is effective in identifying these issues and helping them cope as they care for the dying.

Evaluating Clinical Benefits and Healthcare Utility Impact of a Novel Palliative Rehabilitation Service for Patients with Chronic Breathlessness– The Integrated Care for Advanced REspiratory Disorders (ICARE) Program
September 2019 - Present


The Integrated Care for Advanced REspiratory Disorder (ICARE) program integrates early palliative care with post-acute pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with non-malignant chronic lung diseases. Preliminary data from a service audit demonstrated significant improvement in function, as well as reduction in frequency of hospitalisations and length-of-stay (LOS). The primary objective is to examine ICARE’s impact on improving healthcare-related quality of life (HRQOL), alleviating dyspnea severity and reducing dyspnea-related disability. The secondary objective is to evaluate ICARE’s impact on healthcare resource utility by assessing for reduction in frequency of admissions, Emergency Department (ED) visits, costs and acute-hospital LOS.

Geriatric Oncology SuPportive clinic for ELderly (The GOSPEL study)
September 2019 - Present


Geriatric oncology is a unique field dealing with the vulnerability of older adults with cancer. Heterogenous health status in older adults poses increased morbidity and mortality risks from indiscriminate cancer therapy. Vulnerability is associated with increased symptoms and existential distress accompanied with decreased quality of life and worsened survival outcomes due to disease and treatment complications. Geriatric oncology aims to detect vulnerability using comprehensive geriatric assessment with accompanying intervention to promote quality of life through functional, psycho-emotional and social well-being as well as provide valuable direction in cancer treatment. Palliative care interventions have proven to be useful in improving the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer. However, studies demonstrating their effectiveness to improve the quality of life of older adults diagnosed with early and locally advanced cancer are lacking. Hence, the aim of this study is to investigate the impact of a Geriatric-Oncology-Supportive care service on the quality of life of older adults with early and locally advanced cancer.


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