Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (PaCERS)

The importance of relating clinical practice more closely to evidence is recognised by health and social care professionals and commissioners alike. However, a significant obstacle is the lack of time to locate and read the literature relevant to clinical teams’ areas of practice. In addition, the expectation to assess its quality and deal with conflicting information can be challenging.

Rapid Review is defined as a review conducted within 8-10 weeks using modified systematic review methods with a highly refined research question, search carried out within limited set of databases and other sources and increasing the transparency of the methods used.

PaCERS has been developed as a rapid review service funded by Welsh Government to support professionals and other decision-makers working in palliative care. The service is unique in responding to external clinical/organisational calls for evidence rather than itself defining the review agenda.





To conduct rapid reviews to answer research questions of current importance to health care professionals and other decision-makers in relation to palliative care, in the shortest possible time. This will allow the integration of research evidence into service development and practice at pace, and further embed research as part of daily practice.


• To work in partnership with the requester to refine the research question;
• To search for high quality evidence across a range of appropriate databases and information sources;
• To develop relevant search strategies to perform these searches;
• To identify the best available evidence to assess its quality and relevance;
• To synthesise the findings in a user friendly format;
• To develop a system for handling, storing, and retrieving this information;
• To provide training in research methodology relating to rapid reviews for requesters


Full details of our methodology can be downloaded here



Requesting a Rapid Review

PaCERS will respond to calls for evidence from Professional groups / organisations. Requests should be made by downloading the Request Form  and emailing to Please use this email address for any further information on this service.


Rapid Review Repository





Project Team


March 2016 


What are best practice service models in rural areas for the delivery of end of life and palliative care?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Peter Gee, Amanda Woodward, Annmarie Nelson.


List of Studies

March  2017


Does advance care planning alter management decisions made by healthcare professionals?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward, Peter Gee.  Cwm Taf UHB: Ian Back, Victoria Bayliss, Caroline Allen, Andrew Morris.  Cardiff & Vale UHB: Anthony Williams.


List of Studies

May  2017


What processes decrease the risk of opioid toxicity following interventional procedures for uncontrolled pain in palliative care or cancer patients?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward,Ishrat Islam.

Sarbari Gupta, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport.


List of studies

Nov 2017


What outpatient models have proven efficacy for assessment and management of pelvic radiotherapy late effects?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward,Ishrat Islam.

Louise Hanna, Velindre Cancer Centre.

  List of studies

June 2018


What is the impact and effectiveness of the 7 day CNS service on palliative care patients and their families?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward, Ishrat Islam.

Mel Lewis, CVUHB Palliative Care Service.

  List of studies

July 2018


What are the models and outcomes of Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in cancer and palliative care research?


Annmarie Nelson, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward, Ishrat Islam, Anthony Byrne.

  List of Studies

Nov 2018


What are the attitudes and perceptions of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and their carers towards use of oxygen therapy?


Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward.

Ben Hope-Gill, Dept. Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital Llandough.

  List of Studies

Dec 2018


What is the evidence base for the assessment and management of cancer cachexia in adults with incurable pancreatic cancer?



Anthony Byrne, Mala Mann, Amanda Woodward, James Davies, Alison Evans, Anna Torrens-Burton.

Melanie Jefferson, Palliative Care Department, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

  List of Studies