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 Chris Grossman


Lead Researcher

Dr Chris Grossman is a Fellow of the Chapter of Palliative Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a General Practitioner and lead palliative researcher at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem (CHCB), Victoria.

Chris is a passionate advocate for education and research in Palliative Care. His main research focuses to date have been on providing evidence-based treatments for patients suffering existential issues and advocating for equal care for minority health groups.

Chris has attended a number of national conferences, with publications in peer-reviewed journals and contributions to books such as the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. Chris is an active member of ANZSPM and PaCCSC and has taught students from Monash, Notre Dame and Latrobe Universities.

Current Studies

  • My Neuro Palliative Care: MyNP Care – An integrated approach for people living with a progressive neurological disease– M McPhee, S Mathers, R Hearn, C Grossman, L William, C Li
  • A Diagnostic Interview For Psychological Adjustment And Demoralisation, Bobevski I, Kissane D, C Grossman, Burke A, Michael N
  • Opinions of carers of community palliative care patients regarding interventions and support, Hearn R.
  • An Australian Neuro-Palliative Perspective on Huntington’s Disease: A Case Report, Shah R, Lee S, Strasser R, Grossman C
  • Bereavement in the time of COVID-19 Study, Lobb L, Agar M; DiGiacomo M, Breen L, Luckett T, Hosie A, Philip J, Maccallum F, Gilmore I, Tieman J, Dadich A, Phillips J, Glasgow N, Moberley S, Grossman, Hughes R, Kinchin I, Chang S, Harlum J
  • Palliative Medicine Specialist (PMS) clinic of Statewide Progressive Neurological Diseases (SPNDS): quality assurance database, Strasser R, Smith A, Stefanou G, Runacres F
  • The Community CORe Project: Telehealth in Community Palliative Care Project R Hearn, G Hessel, N McCracken, C Grossman, R Maule, A Bamford
  • MPCCC Cancer Donor Program, D Pook, C Grossman
  • 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.
  • Communication and decision-making in Motor Neurone Disease. Paynter, C., Mathers, S., Gregory, H., Cruice, M., Vogel, A.
  • A diagnostic interview for psychological adjustment and demoralisation. Bobevski, I., Michael, N., Burke, A., Grossman, C., Kissane, D.
  • THIN-PC: TeleHealth for INpatient Palliative Care. Robinson, N., Grossman, C., Lee, S., Hearn, R.
  • Role of the Palliative Medicine Specialist (PMS) in Progressive Neurological Diseases. Strasser, R., Smith, A., Stefanou, G., Runacres, F.



  • Shah R, Lee S, Strasser R, Grossman C (2021) An Australian Neuro-Palliative perspective on Huntington’s disease: a case report,
  • Runacres F, Poon P, King S, Lustig J, Ugalde A ( 2021) Examining the role of specialist palliative care in geriatric care to inform collaborations: a survey on the knowledge, practice and attitudes of Geriatricians in providing palliative care.
  • Ly S, Runacres F & Poon P (2021) Journey mapping as a novel approach to healthcare: a qualitative mixed methods study in palliative care.
  • Runacres F, Steele P, Hudson J, Bills M & Poon P (2021) We couldn’t have managed without your team: a collaborative palliative care response to the COVID-19 pandemic in residential aged care.
  • Bloomer MJ, Poon P, Runacres F, & Hutchinson AM (2021) Facilitating family needs and support at the end of life in hospital: a descriptive study.
  • Bloomer MJ, Poon P, Runacres F, & Hutchinson AM (2022) Family involvement and end-of-life care needs in critical care: a retrospective descriptive study.
  • Lin, E., Dellit, M., Franco, M., King, S., Runacres, F., Yoong, J., Poon, P. (2020). Letter in response to top 10 tips palliative care clinicians should know about caring for patients with haematological malignancies. Palliative Medicine.
  • Runacres, F., Hearn, R., Howe, J., Mathers, S. (2020). Elective withdrawal of non-invasive ventilation in motor neurone disease: a neuropalliative care perspective. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.
  • Bloomer, M., Botti, M., Runacres, F., Poon, P., Barnfield, J., Hutchinson, A. (2019). Cultural considerations at the end of life in a geriatric inpatient rehabilitation setting. Collegian, 26(1):165-170.
  • 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. (2019). End of life care for older people in subacute care: A retrospective clinical audit. Collegian 1(26).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Kissane D., Grossman C. & O’Callaghan C (2021) Research into Psychosocial issues, Cherny N., Fallom M., Kassa S., Portenoy RK., Currow DC. England Oxford University Press 350
  • 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
  • Kulkarni A, Gregory H. Terminal care in patients with Motor Neurone Disease. International Symposium on ALS and MND, Perth, Dec 2019)
  • Susan Mathers, Maryanne McPhee, Rowan Hearn, Christopher Grossman, Fiona Fisher. Neuro-Palliative Care-  A Statewide Survey to Victorian Palliative Care Services. ANZSPM conference (SEPT 2022)
  • Chris Grossman, Nathan McCracken, Rowan Hearn, Gail Hessel, Alice Bacmford. Implementing a clinician-assisted vide telehealth model in a community palliative care team during peak Covid times. ANZSPM conference (SEPT 2022)
  • Chris Grossman, Nathan McCracken, Rowan Hearn, Gail Hessel, Alice Bacmford. Acceptability of telehealth for initial patient assessments to a community palliative care team during peak Covid times. ANZSPM conference (SEPT 2022)
  • Hayward, J., Boughey, M., Israel, F., Hearn, R., Couns, M. Care of the Dying Person: Best practice principles for end of life care in Victoria. Oceanic Palliative Care Conference (Sept 2019)
  • 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 (Sept 2018)
  • Gregory, H., Hearn, R. Establishing a neuro-palliative clinic: Patterns, outcomes and what next? ANZSPM Conference (Sept 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 (Mar 2018)
  • King, S., Sulaksana, T., Runacres, F., Curtis, C., Gregory, H. Opioid Rotation from Targin to OxyContin in Palliative Care. Australian Palliative Care Conference (Sept 2017)
  • The role of specialist palliative care in geriatric care: A knowledge, attitudes and practices survey. Runacres, F., King, S., Lustig, J., Ugalde, A.
  • Delirium prevalence, management and prevention in an inpatient palliative care unit. Runacres, F., King, S., Heenan, M.
  • Ethnic Minority Views of Euthanasia – A systematic review. Grossman C., Best M., Symons X., O’Callaghan C., Michael N.
  • A pilot randomised control trial of a Video Decision Support Tool (VDST) for advance care planning in patient caregiver dyads. Michael, N., Kissane, D., Jiwa, M., Burke, A.
  • Motor Neurone Disease – What happens in the terminal phase of the illness? A retrospective, inpatient, clinical audit. Kulkarni, A., Gregory, H., King, S.