BMJ Open 2:e000899 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000899
  • Palliative care
    • Protocol

Palliative care for the management of chronic illness: a systematic review study protocol

  1. Andem I Effiong2
  1. 1Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2New Castle, Delaware, USA
  1. Correspondence to Andem Effiong; anef{at}
  • Received 18 January 2012
  • Accepted 5 April 2012
  • Published 21 May 2012


Introduction Chronic illnesses are marked by fluctuations and variations over time. Individuals with chronic illness experience pain and other symptoms that are not always adequately managed. Their caregivers often have to deal with enormous burden as the illness progresses. Palliative care can serve as an intervention to manage chronic illness, not just at the end of life but also in the early phases of illness.

Methods and analysis Randomised and non-randomised studies will be included in the systematic review. The focus will be on non-cancer chronic illness. Sources of data will be from PubMed and other databases and will include the reference list of studies included in the systematic review. The primary outcome will be to assess the efficacy of palliative care on chronic illness. Secondary outcomes will include health-related quality of life, care giver burden, quality of care and cost-effectiveness of interventions. The study population will consist of patients aged 18 years or over.

Ethics and dissemination For purposes of privacy and confidentiality, the systematic review will be limited to studies with de-identified data. The systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. It will also be disseminated electronically and in print. Brief reports of review findings will be disseminated directly to appropriate audiences via email and other modes of communication. Updates of the review will be conducted to inform and guide healthcare practice and policy.

Trial registration number PROSPEROCRD42011001794.


  • To cite: Effiong A, Effiong AI. Palliative care for the management of chronic illness: a systematic review study protocol. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000899. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000899

  • Contributors AE: drafted the protocol, conceived and designed the study protocol; is primary and contact author for the study; supervised the revisions and approved the final manuscript and critically revised earlier drafts of the manuscript for intellectual content. AIE: assisted in drafting and preparation of the manuscript; provided feedback on study protocol format; was involved in the conception and design of the study and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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