Initiative for a Palliative Approach in Nursing: Evidence and Leadership (iPANEL)

A logo that says "iPanel, initiative for palliativeapproach in nursing evidence and leadership"
The iPANEL logo

iPANEL was a group of nurse researchers, practitioners, and administrators who shared a common goal of advancing the further integration of a palliative approach into the healthcare system. Our program of research was strongly practice-oriented, meant to inform, and be informed by clinical practice. This team was active from January of 2011 until December of 2018. While the iPANEL initiative is no longer together, many of the researchers and practitioners continue their collaborations into the future. 

Research overview

 The iPANEL research program was guided by the question: How and in which contexts can a palliative approach better meet the needs of people with chronic life-limiting conditions and their family members and guide the development of innovations in health care delivery systems to better support nursing practice and the health system in British Columbia?

To address this broad-based question we engaged in and planned a number of research projects that fell under four intersecting research strands. Each of the research strands were co-led by a nurse researcher and clinical or administrative nursing leader who were members of the iPANEL team.

Health system and policy innovations

The focus of this research strand is to explore health system and public policy innovations that are needed to support nurses to enact a palliative approach in the contexts of the BC health care environment. We are also interested in the impact on staffing and skill mix, and the use of practice support tools, in integrating a palliative approach.

Preparing for a palliative approach

The focus of this research strand is to explore how we best prepare nurses and health care workers (taking into account context and skill mix) to integrate a palliative approach into their everyday practice and to determine effective educational strategies to support this.

Patient- and family-centred improvements

The focus of this research strand is to explore patient/family and system opportunities that nurses and health care workers can build upon to guide and support patients and families throughout the many transitions of chronic life-limiting illness.

Nurse and health care worker perspectives

The focus of this research strand is to understand nurses’ and health care workers’ perspectives about their practice-based experiences in a palliative approach across home care, residential care and acute care settings.

Four things you should know about iPANEL

Almost three quarters of British Columbians die each year without accessing palliative services

Specialized palliative units and hospices are essential for end of life care but not appropriate for all persons facing life-limiting chronic conditions. By offering a palliative approach in multiple settings, we can better care for people and their families through the many transitions of chronic conditions like dementia, lung, kidney and heart diseases, and cancer.

Through research, we create new knowledge about how nurses can further integrate palliative philosophies and services into nonspecialized settings which provide end-of-life care

Throughout BC, people are dying in many settings including residential care facilities, on general hospital wards and at home. Our research seeks to understand how to apply and integrate the palliative approach to any care setting where people with life-limiting chronic conditions are cared for.

Our research is informed by and informs clinical practice

By creating a cycle of nursing practice to nursing research and back again, we can ensure our research is informed by clinical practice. And that the evidence we gather is relevant, useful, and well-communicated to nurses. We accomplish this through our partnerships with both practicing and academic nurses throughout BC.

Our ultimate goal is to advance the further integration of the palliative approach into nursing practice in every care setting

We know this takes the support and cooperation of many parties including health professionals, employers and health care consumers, but we believe that nurses can and will contribute to a better and more supported experience for British Columbians toward the end of their lives.


Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)


  • Kelli Stajduhar (Co-PI, UVic)
  • Carolyn Tayler (Co, PI, retired Fraser Health)