guest interview – Soula Ganiatsas, Palliative Care Research Network Victoria

Tell us about your job.

I am the program manager for the Palliative Care Research Network Victoria (PCRNV).

What does PCRNV do?

We try to gain funding to conduct clinical and community intervention research. The PCRNV also  provides an opportunity to network and collaborate with other palliative care researchers through PCRNV forums and workshops.

We also help with access to a variety of PCRNV funding schemes including; PhD scholarship, small project and travel grants. There can be support with developing your research idea into a potential project and grant proposals via the PCRNV Concept Development Workshops and also mentoring.

But, it’s not right to do research on people who are dying, is it? 

Palliative care research strives to improve the quality of life for patients but also for their families. Researchers have the ability to design research studies and training programs that lead to high quality palliative care and support for patients and their families.

Tell us about one project that PCRNV is working on at the moment. 

One project that the PCRNV is funding at the moment is  “Family meetings for hospitalized palliative care patients: Benefits and resource implications.”

How will this work help patients and families?

Family meetings are recommended as standard practice, as a means whereby health professionals, together with family carers and patients (where able) discuss goals of care, site of care options, psychosocial issues, and plans for the future. These meetings are not usually provided consistently or systematically, nor are they conducted according to best available evidence. The purpose of this project is to evaluate outcomes for patients and family carers who attend a structured family meeting (SFM) using clinical guidelines and to determine the cost and resource implications of implementing SFM into standard practice for hospitalised patients with advanced disease.

Many of our readers want to find out more about research and funding opportunities.  If readers want to join PCRNV or get involved, what’s the best way to get in touch? Is it just for people in Victoria, Australia?

Membership to the PCRNV is free of charge and open to all palliative care health care professionals nationally and internationally. You can join the PCRNV online at:

Thanks Soula!

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