Better Together: The Making and Maturation of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group.

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the growth and outcomes of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC). BACKGROUND: Despite advances, significant gaps remain in the evidence base to inform care for people with serious illness. To generate this needed evidence and bolster research capacity, the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) group was formed. METHODS: The PCRC supports investigators in the conduct of multisite clinical studies. After developing a governance structure and completing a proof of concept demonstration study, the PCRC expanded its infrastructure to include additional resource cores (Clinical Studies; Measurement; Data Informatics and Statistics; and Caregiver Studies). The PCRC also supports an Investigator Development Center as many palliative care investigators valued opportunities to advance their skills. Additional key aspects of PCRC resources include a Scientific Review Committee, a Publications Committee, and initiatives to purposefully engage investigators in a community of palliative care science. RESULTS: The PCRC has grown to over 300 members representing more than 130 distinct sites. To date, the PCRC has supported the submission of 51 research applications and has engaged in 27 studies. The PCRC supports investigator research development needs through webinars and clinical trials "intensives." To foster a sense of community, the PCRC has convened biannual meetings, developed special interest groups, and regularly communicates via a newsletter and its website. CONCLUSION: With a particular focus on facilitating conduct of rigorous multisite clinical studies, the PCRC fosters an engaged multidisciplinary research community, filling an important void in generating and disseminating evidence that informs the provision of high-quality care to people with serious illness.





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Ritchie, Christine L, Kathryn I Pollak, Karen A Kehl, Jeri L Miller and Jean S Kutner (2017). Better Together: The Making and Maturation of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group. J Palliat Med, 20(6). pp. 584–591. 10.1089/jpm.2017.0138 Retrieved from

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Kathryn IIonka Pollak

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Pollak is a social psychologist who designs and tests behavioral interventions to promote smoking cessation, reduce health disparities, and improve clinician-patient communication. She also is one of the Multiple Principal Investigators of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative that supports multi-site palliative care trials. Finally, Dr. Pollak serves as a Communication Coach where she teaches clinicians effective communication techniques.

Area of expertise: Health Behavior

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