The Palliative Care Program is affiliated with the University of British Columbia’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and with the Department of Medicine - Division of General Internal Medicine. In addition to our patient care role, our Palliative Care Program has a research program that is growing in strength and recognition. 

The Palliative Care Program has a research program that is growing in strength and recognition.  

Our research focuses on:

  • Studies to improve the quality of life of patients with incurable and symptomatic disease.
  • Translation of this information into knowledge for other health care practitioners.
  • Fostering local, national and international research collaborations for knowledge exchange.
  • Providing training and mentoring of resident physicians and student nurses.


Researchers collaborate locally, provincially, nationally and internationally with researchers from many organizations, including:

  • Division of Cardiology, UBC
  • Department of Psychology, UBC
  • CHES (Centre for Health Education Scholarship) 
  • UBC Department of Cardiology
  • Heartlands Hospital - Birmingham 
  • Western University, Centre for Education Research & Innovation (CERI)
  • Dalhousie University
  • Victoria Hospice
  • University of Saskatchewan, Department of Nursing
  • Sunnybrook Hospital, Department of Medicine

Current work

One of the focuses of our research is palliative care for heart failure, with one of our team members being the UBC Principal Investigator for a multi-site Canadian study funded by Canadian Health Research Institute. 

Another member is involved in a multi-site trial of a video explaining Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as an aid to medical decision-making. 

Another study works with the Department of Psychology at UBC in the use of advanced ECG to detect brain awareness in the last hours of life. 

Presentations and Publications

Publications and presentations at conferences are always part of the work we do to share our research. Our research has been shared at the Provincial and National Hospice Palliative Care Conferences and at the International Conference on Care of the Terminally Ill in Montreal. 

We have published the results of our bereaved relative interviews on an open access journal and it can be read at:

Garland, E. L., Bruce, A., & Stajduhar, K. (2013). Exposing barriers to end-of-life communication in heart failure: An integrative review. Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 23(1), 12-18. 

Lauck, S. Garland, E, Achtem, L., Forman, J., Baumbusch, J.,  Boone, R.,  Cheung, A., Ye1, J., Wood, D. A., Webb, J. G. (2014). Integrating a palliative approach in a transcatheter heart valve program: Bridging innovations in the management of severe aortic stenosis and best end-of-life practice. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 13(2), 177–184. DOI: 10.1177/1474515114520770