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40+ Research Topics on Palliative Care Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide for Nursing Students

Palliative care nursing is a vital and compassionate aspect of healthcare that focuses on improving the quality of life for patients facing serious illnesses. This specialized branch of nursing aims to alleviate the physical, emotional, and psychological suffering experienced by individuals with life-limiting conditions and support their families. As nursing students, understanding the principles and practices of palliative care nursing is essential to delivering holistic and patient-centered care. This article will delve into the research topics on palliative care nursing, explore important PICOT questions related to the field, and provide multiple project and research ideas to deepen your understanding.

Introducing Palliative Care Nursing

Palliative care nursing involves providing comprehensive care to patients with serious illnesses to enhance their quality of life and manage their symptoms. This type of nursing encompasses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of care, focusing on pain and symptom management, emotional support, and facilitating end-of-life discussions. Palliative care nurses are crucial in advocating for patients’ preferences, ensuring their comfort, and upholding their dignity during their final stages of life.

Research topics on palliative care nursing

Exploring PICOT Questions in Palliative Care Nursing

  1. P: Elderly cancer patients in hospice care; I: Implementation of a personalized pain assessment tool; C: Standard pain assessment methods; O: Improved pain management and patient comfort; T: 3 months.
    This PICOT question addresses the effectiveness of personalized pain assessment tools in enhancing pain management for elderly cancer patients in hospice care. It seeks to determine if tailored assessment tools improve pain control and increase patient comfort.
  2. P: Terminally ill pediatric patients; I: Integration of art therapy in palliative care; C: Conventional psychosocial support; O: Improved emotional well-being and quality of life; T: 6 months.
    This question investigates the impact of incorporating art therapy into palliative care for terminally ill children. It aims to assess whether art therapy can enhance emotional well-being and overall quality of life.
  3. P: Patients with advanced heart failure; I: Early palliative care involvement; C: Standard heart failure management; O: Enhanced symptom control and patient-family communication; T: 1 year.
    Examining the benefits of introducing palliative care alongside conventional treatment for advanced heart failure patients, this question establishes if early palliative care involvement leads to improved symptom management and more effective patient-family communication.
  4. P: Adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); I: Regular spiritual counseling; C: No spiritual interventions; O: Increased spiritual well-being and coping; T: 9 months.
    This question delves into the impact of consistent spiritual counseling on ALS patients’ spiritual well-being and coping mechanisms, aiming to determine if such interventions contribute to better psychological outcomes.
  5. P: Patients with end-stage renal disease on dialysis; I: Implementation of a palliative care educational program; C: Standard renal disease education; O: Enhanced patient understanding and decision-making; T: 6 months.
    Exploring the effects of a specialized palliative care educational program for end-stage renal disease patients, this question assesses whether such programs improve patient comprehension of their condition and facilitate more informed decisions.
  6. P: Older adults with advanced dementia; I: Use of non-pharmacological interventions; C: Standard dementia care; O: Reduced behavioral symptoms and improved quality of life; T: 1 year.
    This question investigates the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions in managing behavioral symptoms and enhancing the quality of life for older adults with advanced dementia.
  7. P: Patients with metastatic lung cancer; I: Implementation of routine music therapy; C: No music therapy; O: Reduced anxiety and improved emotional well-being; T: 4 months.
    Focusing on the role of music therapy in the care of metastatic lung cancer patients, this question aims to determine whether routine music therapy sessions can mitigate anxiety and contribute to better emotional well-being.
  8. P: Patients receiving palliative care at home; I: Telehealth monitoring of symptoms; C: In-person symptom assessment; O: Timely symptom management and reduced hospitalizations; T: 6 months.
    This question explores the benefits of utilizing telehealth technologies to monitor symptoms in patients receiving palliative care at home, aiming to establish whether remote monitoring leads to improved symptom control and fewer hospital admissions.
  9. P: Family caregivers of terminally ill patients; I: Provision of psychoeducation and support groups; C: Standard caregiver support; O: Enhanced caregiver coping and reduced burnout; T: 9 months.
    Investigating the effects of psychoeducation and support groups for family caregivers, this question seeks to determine if these interventions contribute to better coping mechanisms and decreased caregiver burnout.
  10. P: Patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease; I: Regular physical therapy; C: No structured physical therapy; O: Improved mobility and enhanced quality of life; T: 1 year.

Examining the impact of consistent physical therapy on patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, this question assesses whether regular physical therapy sessions lead to increased mobility and an improved overall quality of life.

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Projects on Palliative Care Nursing

  1. Development of a comprehensive pain management protocol for hospice patients.
  2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in reducing anxiety among terminally ill patients.
  3. Implementation of a communication skills training program for palliative care nurses.
  4. Assessment of the impact of massage therapy on pain relief in cancer patients.
  5. Investigation of the use of virtual reality in providing comfort and distraction to patients in palliative care.

Nursing Capstone Projects on Palliative Care Nursing

  1. Creating a family resource guide for caregivers of patients in palliative care.
  2. Designing a training module on end-of-life conversations for nursing students.
  3. Analysis of the ethical challenges faced by palliative care nurses in decision-making.
  4. Development of a toolkit for managing dyspnea in patients with advanced respiratory conditions.
  5. Exploration of cultural considerations in providing palliative care to diverse populations.

Palliative Care Nursing Research Topics

  1. Ethical dilemmas in palliative sedation: Balancing patient comfort and autonomy.
  2. The role of palliative care in addressing the opioid crisis in chronic pain management.
  3. Exploring the impact of palliative care on healthcare utilization and cost.
  4. Cultural influences on pain perception and management in palliative care.
  5. Communication strategies for discussing do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders with patients and families.

Palliative Care Nursing Research Questions

  1. How does spiritual counseling influence the coping mechanisms of terminally ill patients?
  2. What are the barriers to effective pain management in patients receiving palliative care at home?
  3. How does early integration of palliative care impact the quality of life for patients with advanced heart failure?
  4. What is the role of music therapy in managing anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing palliative care?
  5. How do cultural beliefs influence end-of-life decision-making among diverse populations?

Essay Topic Ideas & Examples on Palliative Care Nursing

  1. The holistic approach of palliative care nursing: Addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  2. The significance of effective communication in facilitating end-of-life discussions.
  3. Exploring the ethical considerations of withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatments in palliative care.
  4. Cultural competence in palliative care: Providing patient-centered support to diverse populations.
  5. The role of family caregivers in enhancing the quality of life for patients in palliative care.


As nursing students, delving into the world of palliative care nursing opens up a realm of opportunities for learning, research, and contribution. To further support your academic journey, consider seeking assistance from our writing services. We’re here to help you develop well-structured papers, comprehensive research projects, and thought-provoking essays that contribute to advancing palliative care nursing.

FAQs About Palliative Care in Nursing

Q: What is palliative care in nursing? A: Palliative care in nursing is a specialized approach that focuses on providing holistic and compassionate support to patients with serious illnesses. It aims to enhance their quality of life by addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while managing symptoms and offering comfort.

Q: What are the 3 forms of palliative care? A: The three forms of palliative care are primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary palliative care is provided by general healthcare practitioners, secondary palliative care involves specialized teams and services, and tertiary palliative care is delivered in specialized institutions like hospices.

Q: What are the 5 stages of palliative care? A: The five stages of palliative care, often referred to as the “5 C’s,” include: Communication (open and honest discussions), Control (pain and symptom management), Compassion (emotional and psychological support), Coordination (collaboration among healthcare teams), and Continuity (consistent care throughout the illness journey).

Q: What are the six qualities of palliative care? A: The six qualities of palliative care, as outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO), are: Providing patient-centered care, focusing on a team approach, addressing physical and psychological needs, enhancing quality of life, supporting patients and families, and maintaining open communication throughout the care process.


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