Can the global uptake of palliative care innovations be improved? Insights from a bibliometric analysis of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System

Cummings, G., Biondo, P. D., Campbell, D., Stiles, C., Fainsinger, R., Muise, M., and Hagen, N.

(2010). Can the global uptake of palliative care innovations be improved? Insights from a bibliometric analysis of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System. Palliative Medicine, Published online before print September 16, 2010, doi: 10.1177/0269216310381449.

Abstract

Clinical research is undertaken to improve care for palliative patients, but little is known about how to support the broad uptake of resultant innovations. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) explore the uptake of the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System throughout the global palliative care community through the lens of a bibliometric review – a research method that maps out the journey of new knowledge uptake by evaluating where key articles are cited in published literature; (2) construct hypotheses on attributes of the global community of palliative care learners; and (3) make inferences on approaches that could improve knowledge transfer. While preliminary, results of the study suggest several specific approaches that could support widespread uptake of innovations in palliative care: targeting publication in high impact, international journals; explicitly focusing on how the innovation is applied to best practice; encouraging additional research to expand on early studies; consciously targeting key professional groups and organizations to promote discussion in the grey literature; and early translation and promotion within multiple languages.

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