Research at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce

Palliative Care and End of Life Research Projects


The Calvary Centre for Palliative Care Research, Canberra is a joint venture between Calvary Health Care and Australian Catholic University.

The Centre operates with three research strands: clinical care, care pathways and relationships. All projects and outputs are aligned with one or more of these areas. Each of the strands is directly connected with the Little Company of Mary core strategic areas in the 2011-15 plan, and specifically to priorities in: excellence in care, service development & innovation, and people & culture. Each project also addresses strategic national and local policy objectives.

The Centre’s mission is to make a substantial positive impact on palliative care, improve service delivery and improve patient and carer outcomes by:

  1. Conducting high quality, multidisciplinary research with a particular focus on the translation of research into practice.
  2. Building research capacity through training and mentoring palliative care clinicians, research students, career researchers and teaching staff.
  3. Advising, collaborating and consulting on key issues and challenges relating to palliative care research with the health industry, clinicians, government, patient/carer groups and other key stakeholders.
  4. Creating and sustaining a collegial, supportive and high performance research culture that is attractive to clinicians, the researchers and research students.

Project funding comes from competitive research grants and from the territory’s Health Department. Whenever possible, projects have national and international collaborators to embed the impact and engagement of work in multiple sites and contexts. We also work closely with relevant peak bodies, including Palliative Care Australia.

Example completed projects include: a trial of distance learning education for informal carers, a systematic review of subcutaneous hydration for people receiving palliative care, assessing a new model of care for integrating specialist palliative care into aged care, assessing the impact of family meetings on perceptions of empathy, examining the transparency of aged care fees on provider websites, examining conflict between families and clinicians in specialist palliative care.

Professor Nicholas Glasgow

Head of the Calvary Centre for Palliative Care Research at Clare Holland House, ACT

Professor Nicholas Glasgow is a Fellow of the Chapter of Palliative Medicine of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a general practitioner, and Head of the Calvary Centre for Palliative Care Research at Clare Holland House, ACT.

After graduating with MBBS from Auckland University in 1981, Nick worked in general practice for ten years. He took up his first academic appointment in the early 1990s and completed his doctorate in 1999. He became an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) in March 2018. Prior to that Nick served at ANU as Acting Head of the Department of Health Services Research and Policy in the Research School of Population Health; and as Dean (Medicine and Health Sciences; and Medical School), and as Professor and Director of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI). He was appointed to a two-year term as Chair of the Academic Board of the Australian National University in 2014. Nick has served on a wide range of academic committees in Australia and overseas and in an advisory capacity to the ACT and federal governments over many years.

His research interests include end of life and palliative care, asthma and respiratory health, chronic disease care, health system research including health workforce research, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Nick is an accomplished supervisor of higher degrees, a well-regarded educator nationally and internationally, and an active scholar in medical education.



Current Studies

  • Integrating Specialist Palliative Care into residential care for older people; A Stepped wedge trial (INSPIRED). Johnstone, N., Lovell, C., Parker, D., Agar, M., Forbat, L., Lam, L., Liu, W., Chapman, M.
  • Dying to Talk in the Bush. Glasgow, N., Rainsford, S., Kanathigoda, S.
  • Literature search looking for research already published around empathic distress, compassion fatigue and resilience in health professionals. Waterford, M.
  • Rural Residential Aged Care Needs Rounds. Rainsford, S., Johnson, N., Liu., W, Glasgow, N., Forbat, L.
  • Individualised gym program for inpatient palliative care patients for fatigue levels and functional status. Davies, P.
  • Preventable presentations at Emergency Departments by patients receiving specialist out-patient palliative care in the Australian Capital Territory. Forbat, L., King, S., Maher, K., Chapman, M., Ranse, K., Kamrani, S.
  • Family meetings in in-patient specialist palliative care: A mechanism to convey empathy. Forbat, L., Francois, K., O’Callaghan, L., Kulikowski, J.
  • The nature of conflict in palliative care: A qualitative exploration of the experiences of staff and family members. Francois, K., Lobb, E.A., Barclay, S., Forbat, L.


  • Carolan, C., Smith, A., Davies, G., Forbat, L. (2018). Seeking, Accepting and Declining Help for Emotional Distress in Cancer:  A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Evidence, European Journal of Cancer Care   2, doi: 10.1111/ ecc.12720
  • Chapman, M., Johnston, N., Lovell, C., Forbat, L., Liu, W. (2018). Avoiding costly hospitalisation at end of life: Findings from a specialist palliative care pilot in residential care for older adults. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care 8,102 – 109  doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2015-001071
  • Forbat, L., Robertson, J., McNamee, P. (2018). Couple therapy following prostate cancer surgery: A manual to guide treatment .Journal of Family Therapy 40, 86 – 110 doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12129
  • Rainsford S., MacLeod R.D., Glasgow N.J., Wilson D.M., Phillips C.B., Wiles R.B. (2018). Rural residents’ perspectives on the rural ‘good death’: A scoping review. Health and Social Care in the Community 26, 273-294 doi: 10.1111/hsc.12385
  • Rainsford S., Glasgow N.J., MacLeod R.D., Neeman T., Phillips C.B., Wiles R.B. (2018). Place of death in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales: A study of residents who died of a condition amenable to palliative care. Australian Journal of Rural Health  26, 126 – 133 doi: 10.1111/ajr.12393
  • Rainsford S., Phillips C.B., Glasgow N.J., Macleod R.D., Wiles R.B. (2018). Dying at home in rural residential aged care: A mixed-methods study in the Snowy Monaro region, Australia. Health and Social Care in the Community doi: 10.1111/hsc.12583
  • Du, W., Glasgow, N., Smith, P.,  Clements, A., Sedrakyan,  A. (2018). Major inpatient surgeries and in-hospital mortality in New South Wales public hospitals in Australia: A state-wide retrospective cohort study. International Journal of Surgery 50, 126 – 132 doi:10.1111/hsc.12583
  • Rainsford, S., Phillips, C., Glasgow, NJ., MacLeod, RD., Wiles, RB. (2018). The ‘safe death’: An ethnographic study exploring the perspectives of rural palliative care patients and family caregivers. Palliative Medicine doi: 10.1177/0269216318800613
  • Forbat, L., Chapman, M., Lovell, C., Liu, W., Johnston, N. (2017). Improving specialist palliative care in residential care for older people: a checklist to guide practice. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care 8, 347 – 353
  • Forbat, L., Robinson, R., Bilton-Simek, R., Francois, K., Lewis, M., Haraldsdottir, E. (2017). Distance  education  methods are useful for delivering education to palliative caregivers: A single arm trial of an education package (PrECEPt). Palliative Medicine 2, 581 – 588 doi: 10.1177/0269216317712849
  • Francois, K., Barclay, S., Lobb, E., Forbat, L. (2017). The Nature of Conflict in Palliative Care: A Qualitative Exploration  of the Experiences of Staff and Family Members. Patient Education and Counselling 8, 1459 – 1465 doi: 10.1016/j. pec.2017.02.019
  • Forbat, L., Kunicki, N., Chapman, M., Lovell, C. (2017). How and why are subcutaneous fluids administered in an advanced illness population: A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Nursing  9(10), 1204 – 1216 doi: 10.1111/jocn.13683
  • Forbat, L., Simons, J., Sayer, C., Davies, M., and Barclay, S. (2017). Training paediatric health care staff in recognising, understanding and managing conflict with patients and families: Findings from a survey on immediate and six-month impact. Archives of Disease in Childhood 102(3), 250-254 doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2016-310737
  • Rainsford S., MacLeod R.D., Glasgow N.J., Phillips C.B., Wiles R.B., Wilson D.M. (2017). Rural end of life care from the experiences and perspectives of patients and family caregivers: A systematic literature review. Palliative Medicine, 31, 895 – 912 doi: 10.1177/0269216316685234
  • Rainsford S. (2018). Palliative care in rural settings, Textbook of Palliative Care. MacLeod R.D., Van den Block, L. Springer p1-15
  • Rainsford, S. & Phillips, C.B. An interview is not a consultation: The dual role of clinician-researcher. Lessons from an ethnographic study exploring rural patients and family caregivers’ perspectives on the ‘good death’. 22nd International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal Canada Oct-18 Oral presentation of qualitative work arising from PhD thesis exploring patient and carer perspectives on good death in a rural setting
  • Rainsford, S., Glasgow, N.J., Phillips, C.B., MacLeod, R.D., Wiles R.B. (2018). The influence of rural culture on place of death: An ethnographic study exploring the experiences of patients and family caregivers. 22nd International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal Canada
  • Rainsford, S., Glasgow, N.J., Phillips, C.B., MacLeod, R.D., Wiles R.B. (2018). Dying in a safe place is more important than dying at home. An ethnographic study of rural patients and family caregivers. 10th World Research Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care, Bern, Switzerland
  • Rainsford, S., Phillips, C.B., Glasgow, N.J., MacLeod, R.D., Wiles R.B. (2018). “This is Mum’s home now”. Residents’ and families’ experiences on dying in rural residential aged care. 10th World Research Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care, Bern, Switzerland
  • Rainsford, S., Phillips, C.B., Glasgow, N.J., MacLeod, R.D., Wiles R.B., Wilson D. (2017). Place of death does not determine the ‘good death’ for rural family caregivers. An ethnographic study. European Association of Palliative Care Congress, Madrid, Spain
  • Rainsford S., Glasgow N.J., MacLeod R., Phillips C., Neeman T., Wiles R. (2017). “I want to stay home and die on the farm.” The actual place of death in a rural setting. European Association of Palliative Care Congress, Madrid, Spain