Trends in Published Palliative Care Research: A 15-Year Review

Ambereen K. Mehta, Rishi Patel, Dheer Patel, Mellar P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There has been a call for palliative care (PC) published research to support the impact and need for more specialty PC services. Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize research in PC over a 15-year period in 3 PC journals published in the United States. Design: The authors reviewed every issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Journal of Palliative Medicine, and American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine from 2004 through 2018. Studies included were original articles and brief reports. Study type (qualitative, quantitative), author (first and last), gender, and professional degree of the author (first and last) were recorded. Results: A total of 4881 articles were included in this study. The proportion of quantitative papers significantly increased across 3 time points from 63% to 67% to 78%. The proportion of women first authors increased across all 3 time points (54%, 2004-2008; 57%, 2009-2013; 60%, 2014-2018), and the proportion of women last authors increased across all time points (38%, 2004-2008; 44%, 2009-2013; 46%, 2014-2018). More than 40% of authors were physicians. Conclusions: Published PC studies are increasingly quantitative in design. Gender authorship is female dominant for the first authors and increasingly equal across genders for the last authors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-493
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • gender
  • interdisciplinary
  • palliative care
  • peer-reviewed
  • publications
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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