Integrated Palliative Approach to Care in the Inner City (iPAC-IC)

Study description

Current models of palliative care have largely not been designed to serve populations made vulnerable by poverty, homelessness, and discrimination. For those people, death and dying, while sometimes occurring in specialized palliative care settings, is more likely to occur in acute care, or, people die alone, outdoors, on the street or in vehicles, or in shelters or transitional housing cared for by workers who are highly compassionate but have limited training, resources, and support to ensure quality palliative care.

Inner city service providers (e.g., housing/shelter, outreach, and peer workers) are in the best position to identify, support, provide, and facilitate access to palliative approaches to care for people experiencing inequity because of their proximity to, and established and trusting relationships.

Building on our previous research and aligning with an initiative led by Dr. Stajduhar on integration of palliative approaches to care across populations and sectors (iPanel), this project uses participatory research approaches to enable housing, health, and social service providers from inner city organizations to integrate a palliative approach into their work. 

Research objective

To capacitate inner city providers to integrate a palliative approach to care for their clients/peers living with chronic life-limiting conditions including cancer. This means adapting principles of palliative care (i.e., alleviation of symptoms, advance care planning, psychosocial support, quality of life) to reflect the expertise and resources of social care providers, and embed these principles into care provision where people live in the community. 


Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute for Cancer Research.


  • Kelli Stajduhar (PI, University of Victoria) 
  • Bernie Pauly (Co-Investigator, University of Victoria) 
  • Bruce Wallace (Co-Investigator, University of Victoria) 
  • Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, (Co-Investigator, Trinity Western University) 
  • Bernice Kamano (Knowledge User, Circle of Sage) 
  • Douglas McGregor (Knowledge User, Victoria Hospice) 
  • Grey Showler (Knowledge User, Cool Aid Society) 
  • Kristen Kvakic (Knowledge User, Provincial Health Services Authority) 
  • Naheed Dosani (Knowledge User, Palliative Education And Care for the Homeless) 
  • Simon Colgan (Knowledge User, Calgary's Allied Mobile Palliative Program) 
  • Ashley Mollison (Project Coordinator, University of Victoria) 


Stajduhar, K.I., Giesbrecht, M., Mollison, A., & d’Archangelo, M. (2020). “Everybody in this community is at risk of dying”: An ethnographic exploration on the potential of integrating a palliative approach to care among workers in inner city settings. Palliative & Supportive Care, 7, 1-6.