Healthcare Guidelines

Open Meeting of the EAPC Task force on International Collaboration for the Development of Healthcare Professional guidelines in Palliative Care will be held on Thursday 8th October, 11.00am CET at the EAPC 11th World Research Congress Online https://eapcresearchcongress2020.eu/


EAPC Task Force on International Collaboration for the Development of Healthcare Professional Guidelines in Palliative Care


Practice guidelines are developed to collect scientific evidence and present it in a way to guide clinicians from all disciplines and professions in their daily practice to provide high quality patient care. Writing guidelines is a huge and difficult work according to a strict methodology, often beyond the capacity of a single organization. Therefore it is worthwhile investigating possible collaboration between organizations and countries in order to obtain maximum collective outcomes combining individual efforts.
Aims & Objectives

  1. To provide an overview of initiatives in palliative care guideline development across the EAPC region: in which countries, by which institutions, by which methodology are guidelines currently being developed?
  2. To connect existing, and support new guideline developing initiatives through the installation of a collaborative network.
  3. To develop, test and implement a methodology of guideline development focused on common pathways and shared efforts: a first part (e.g. literature search, quality appraisal and data extraction) could be part of a shared effort while a second part (e.g. writing a locally adapted guideline, piloting the guideline in the health care system) could make up for the individual effort.


Palliative care and palliative medicine are rapid growing sciences with an ever growing body of evidence. This challenges individual clinicians and health care teams to provide high quality patient care according to the state of the art. Practice guidelines can be helpful in this. Currently palliative care guidelines are being developed by ‘general guideline institutions’ or by palliative care institutions. These initiatives are lacking however in many countries, leading to clinical practice without the use of guidelines or leading to the implementation of guidelines without adaptation to the local health care system. The former leads to heterogeneity in the quality of care, the latter to inefficient or incomplete use of guidelines


International Observatory on End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK, VUB-UGhent End-of-Life Care Research Group, Department of Family Medicine and Chronic Care, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium

Financial Plan

Resources for the conduct of the Task Force will be contributed by ‘in kind’ donations of staff time from the institutions involved. We will be seeking the support of the EAPC for potential activities such as the distribution of surveys to EAPC members, and for access to free meeting space at EAPC Congresses and similar events.



Dr Peter Pype

PHD in Medical Science,
Ghent Univeristy, Belgium
Click here to contact by email


Prof Lieve Van den Block

Head of Research Programme on Ageing and Palliative Care
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
Click here to contact by email


Dr Gert Huysmans, Belgium - EAPC Board link



Click on the logo to read posts relating to other EAPC task forces and reference groups. We hope to publish posts from this task force in due course. 



Year 1 

(Objective 1): Mapping of guideline developing initiatives (methodology cf Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe?)

Year 2 

(Objective 3 – Part 1): Design of a methodology for shared/individual efforts in guideline development (making a consensus choice of a uniform method to be used in the network / identifying which methodology steps can be shared, diminishing the workload (e.g. literature review)– and which methodology steps need to be performed by every individual country or organization (e.g. contextualizing guidelines, adapting to local context)

Year 3 

(Objective 2 and Objective 3 – Part 2): Installation of a collaborative network between institutions/countries (definition of communication channels for collaboration, dissemination etc. : online forum or EAPC meetings or online conferences / which logistic needs are required for the network and for each individual country / financial needs) and testing of the methodology through development of a ‘test case- guideline’.