Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation
a university for the real world

Healthy ageing, dementia and palliative care


Our research in chronic disease, supportive and palliative care has established a strong national and international reputation for high quality and an applied emphasis.

Research focus

Our research addresses:

  • ageing and dementia care, covering issues related to dementia and older people in acute care
  • palliative care, including the management of symptoms and the development of workforce and service delivery models.

Our approach is multidisciplinary, with our world-class researchers drawn from a wide range of disciplines across the university including nursing, public health, psychology and health services.


We have links with:

  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Mater Hospital
  • Wesley Hospital
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • residential aged care facilities
  • private hospitals.


Supportive and palliative care

Lead researcher Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates is Head of QUT’s School of Nursing and Director for Queensland Health’s statewide Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education (CPCRE). Supportive and palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms caused by serious illness like cancer. It can be given at any point during a person's illness to help them feel more comfortable.

Distinguished Professor Yates' work in palliative care includes the following research projects:

A sequential multiple assignment randomised trial (SMART) of nursing interventions to reduce pain associated with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a common and persistent side-effect of cancer treatment causing pain, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, the prevalence of which is increasing. This research will provide the first systematic and comprehensive evaluation of how various non-pharmacological interventions can be adapted to improve quality of life for patients with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).
Centre of Research Excellence in End of Life Care (CRE-ELC)
The CRE-ELC brings together Australia’s leading researchers investigating end of life care issues, utilising their extensive clinical, community and policy networks to ensure that new knowledge is translated for use in end of life care.
End of Life Directions for Aged Care (ELDAC)
The ELDAC project seeks to improve the care of older Australians through advance care planning and palliative care activities. ELDAC is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and is administered by a consortium of three universities and five national bodies from aged care, palliative care and primary care.
Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U)
The PCC4U project aims to improve the skill and confidence of the health workforce to work with people with palliative care needs by promoting the integration of palliative care training within all health undergraduate, entry-to-practice, and relevant post-graduate curricula.
Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative (PCOC)
The PCOC program is a national program and Distinguished Professor Yates is the Chief Investigator of the North Zone, Queensland. The program utilises standardised clinical assessment tools to measure and benchmark patient outcomes in palliative care.
Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)
The PEPA project is a national palliative care project funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, with the overall aim to improve access to high quality palliative care.

Healthy ageing and dementia

Lead researcher Professor Elizabeth Beattie is the Director at Dementia Training Australia. The consortium, led by the University of Wollongong, brings together the expertise of Australia’s leading dementia educators and trainers from the former Dementia Training Study Centres, the Dementia Care Essentials program (Alzheimer’s Australia) and the Wicking Dementia Centre and University of Tasmania's Dementia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Community of Interprofessional Practice for People with Dementia

The Community of Interprofessional Practice for People with Dementia project is being funded by a Department of Social Services (formerly the Department of Health and Ageing) Teaching and Research Aged Care Services (TRACS) grant, an Australian Government initiative. It is a collaborative effort between QUT, a graduate health professional training grant with James Cook University and three residential aged care facilities. The project aims to provide resources to professionals working with people who have dementia.


Managing cancer-related symptoms and side effects

Leading national and state-wide education programs in evidence-based palliative care, Distinguished Professor Patsy Yates was appointed as Director of the Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education, a state-wide centre established by Queensland Health to advance palliative care services in Queensland through research and education. Examples of centre activities designed to facilitate transfer of research into practice include:

Development, trial and evaluation of a pain assessment scale for people with dementia

In response to conflict among nursing staff about pain management for people with late-stage dementia, QUT led a study to develop and validate a simple, easy-to-use pain scale suitable for use by all staff in residential aged care facilities. The Abbey pain scale has gained national and international recognition.

Research enquiries

IHBI research enquiries

Contact us to find out about research and discovery at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).