Research at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem

Palliative Care and End of Life Care Research Projects


Calvary Health Care Bethlehem has regularly performed small research and quality projects which have been presented both orally and as posters at national and international conferences, but we have recognised the great potential and need to develop our research capabilities and output. Through collaboration with other Calvary sites, Cabrini Health and Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative we have started to work towards achieving our goals. Our research team currently consists of the specialist palliative medical staff.

The development of palliative care research at Bethlehem is a key strategic goal. Although relatively new and growing in palliative care research, Bethlehem has a strong history of research in progressive neurological diseases, particularly Huntington’s disease and Motor Neurone Disease. The neurological research team consists of neurologists, research nurses, psychologists and neuropsychologists. There is increasing collaboration between specialist neurology clinicians and palliative care physicians, with a number of current joint projects.

Main areas of research in palliative patients at Bethlehem includes rehabilitation in palliative patients,communication and decision making for people living with motor neurone disease and Huntington’s disease, and community palliative care (use of medications, non-malignant disease, presentations to emergency department). We are a site for the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative RAPID pharmaco-vigilance studies.

Dr Scott King


Lead Researcher

Clinical Director of Palliative Medicine at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem

Having completed specialist training in Palliative Medicine in 2009 Scott commenced work at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem (CHCB) and has been the Clinical Director since 2011. In addition to his work at CHCB he has also held specialist positions at Alfred Health, Eastern Health and Cabrini Health where he was the Medical Director Palliative Care for 2 years. Through his role at CHCB he has provided specialist support to community services that provide palliative care in central and east Gippsland for 4 years.

Scott brings a wealth of clinical experience to his role as a lead researcher with the new Institute and is a passionate advocate of the importance of education and research in Palliative Care. He sees the development and strengthening of the research capabilities in Palliative Care across Calvary as a major priority.

Scott has presented at national and international conferences and was recently published in a peer review journal, he holds an Adjunct Senior Clinical Lecturer position at the University of Notre Dame as well as lecturing at the University of Melbourne and Latrobe University.

Current Studies

End of life wishes and concerns of people with Huntington’s disease and their caregivers. Jackson, N., Mathers, S., Gluyas C., Hosken, R., Fisher, F., Gregory, H., Carlozzi N., Stout, J.

The role of specialist palliative care in geriatric care: A knowledge, attitudes and practices survey. Runacres, F., King, S., Lustig, J., Ugalde, A.

Communication and decision-making in Motor Neurone Disease. Paynter, C., Mathers, S., Gregory, H., Cruice, M., Vogel, A.


  • Paynter, C., Mathers, S., Gregory, H., Cruice, M., Vogel, A. (2019). Communication and cognitive impairments and healthcare decision-making in MND: A narrative review. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. doi: 10.1111/jep.13219
  • Bloomer, M., Botti, M., Runacres, F., Poon, P., Barnfield, J., Hutchinson, A. (2018). Communicating end of life care goals and decision-making among a multidisciplinary geriatric inpatient rehabilitation team: A qualitative descriptive study. Palliative Medicine. doi: 10.1177/0269216318790353
  • Bloomer, M., Botti, M., Runacres, F., Poon, P., Barnfield, J., Hutchinson, A. (2018). End of life care for older people in subacute care: A retrospective clinical audit. Collegian 1(6).
  • Dedge A, Oates L, Gregroy H, King S. (2017). Effective Change Management in an Australian Community Palliative Care Service. British Journal of Community Nursing, 22:536-541. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2017.22.11.536
  • Runacres FI, William L, Ingram A, Franco M, Yoong J & Poon P (2017). Tuberculosis at the end of life. European Journal of Palliative Care, 24(1):7-10
  • Yoong, J., Chandra, R. V., William, L., Franco, M., Goldschlager, T., Runacres, F. & Poon, P. (2017). Percutaneous sacroplasty for painful bone mestastses: A case report. Pain Practice, 7(7):945-951
  • Runacres, FI, Gregory H & Ugalde A (2017). The horse has bolted I suspect: A qualitative study of clinicians’ attitudes and perceptions regarding palliative rehabilitation. Palliative Medicine, 31(7):642-650
  • Yoong, J., Runacres, F. (2018). Trajectory of performance status and symptom scores for patients with cancer during the last six months of life – 50 Studies Every Palliative Care Doctor Should Know. Hui, D., Reddy, A. & Bruera, E. New York Oxford University Press 51-56
  • King, S., Sulaksana, T., Runacres, F., Curtis, C., Gregory, H. Opioid Rotation from Targin to OxyContin in Palliative Care. Australian Palliative Care Conference (2017)
  • Runacres, F., Heenan, M., King, S. Delirium prevention, diagnosis and management in a palliative care unit: A point prevalence audit and key recommendations. DECLARED delirium conference (2018)
  • Gregory, H., Hearn, R. Establishing a neuro-palliative clinic: Patterns, outcomes and what next? ANZSPM Conference (2018)
  • Paynter, C., Mathers, S., Gregory, H., Cruice, M., Vogel, A. Communication impairment and health care decision making in MND: A narrative review. AUSMND conference (2018)

Delirium prevalence, management and prevention in an inpatient palliative care unit. Runacres, F., King, S., Heenan, M.