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Workshop: Critical perspectives on understanding and evaluating compassionate communities (NORMAN LINDSAY ROOM)

This event is free of charge. Please let us know if you will be attending by emailing

Focus and aims:

Health promoting palliative care and compassionate community approaches, are on an upswing. However, the basis for research aiming to describe, understand and evaluate these is still in an early developing stage. In several countries, research projects at the intersection of palliative care and new public health are being conducted or initiated.  These projects face many challenges because they typically fall outside of clearly delineated settings and intend to stimulate dynamic and complex change rather than controlled effects. One of the challenges is to find rigorous yet feasible approaches to investigate and understand what type of impact new public health approaches have, how they relate to actual change, as well as how to maximize positive effects and minimize unintentional and avoidable risks and negative consequences.

To date, these challenges have most often been dealt with individually and in different ways by different research groups. While some of these differences are important in maintaining local relevance, other differences may be due to the relatively new state of the field, differences in research traditions, criteria determined by funders, etc. Our goal with this half-day workshop is to share critical discussion of our actual research experiences and ideas as a first effort to jointly advance the state of the science.

In this workshop, we focus on research related to community-based and non-institutionalized rather than professionally driven care, in line with that also described as ‘compassionate communities’ by Kellehear (2005) or “death systems” by Kastenbaum (Kastenbaum & Moreman, 2018). This includes socially accepted and recognized means of dealing with issues related to death and dying in society, supporting the dying and bereaved, and taking care of the dead, in ways that allow us to be attentive to interconnections and relationships, cultural and societal norms, expectations, traditions and symbols, and how they affect experiences.

The aims of this workshop are to:

  1. Exchange experience-based knowledge about our efforts in conducting research in this field

  2. Derive central questions that are shared by different projects, contexts and research approaches

  3. Use these questions as a basis to discuss a variety of potential approaches for conducting research in this field, including their benefits and risks,

  4. Develop and document an outline for international collaborative approaches to drive research development further.



Kellehear A (2005) Compassionate Cities. Public health and end-of-life care. Oxon, Routledge.

Kastenbaum R & Moreman CM (2018) Death, Society and Human Experience (12th Edn). New York, Routledge.