Research Agenda

In 2009, the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association established a program of tri-annual research agendas to: 1) provide focus for researchers to conduct meaningful scientific and quality improvement initiatives and inform evidence-based practice; 2) guide organizational research funding; and 3) illustrate to other stakeholders the importance of specific nursing research foci. In this way, this research agenda provides important direction for research and highlights significant gaps that, when addressed, can improve hospice and palliative nursing practice. 

The HPNA Research Agenda offers specific guidance regarding priority nursing foci for increasing the evidence for hospice and palliative nursing practice. It is vital that this agenda calls for research to develop and build on current evidence that supports best hospice and palliative nursing practices. Therefore, this agenda is aligned with the fourth edition of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, released in 2018 by the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, and describes essential elements of high-quality evidence-based hospice and palliative practice.

This research agenda highlights gaps in knowledge identified by HPNA members, and subsequently, barriers to delivering quality hospice and palliative nursing practice. Additionally, the agenda prioritizes research areas to assist hospice and palliative nurses to improve patient and family experiences by generating new knowledge and translating evidence from nursing research into clinical practice. This research agenda is for all HPNA members regardless of role: clinical, academic, or research.

The priority areas of this HPNA Research Agenda (2023-2026) were generated in consultation with our membership and assessment of major trends in hospice and palliative nursing. The following five topics were identified as areas of knowledge gaps in need of further scientific inquiry: 1) equitable palliative care; 2) local, national, and global disaster/emergency response in hospice and palliative care; 3) pediatric hospice and palliative care research; 4) well-being of hospice and palliative care clinicians: self-care and workforce development; 5) transitions in care.

Executive Summary

Research Agenda 2023-2026