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Primary care
Using routine databases to evaluate Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS)
  1. Christina Sian Chu1,2
  1. 1 Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, London, UK
  2. 2 Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christina Sian Chu, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, University College London, 6th Floor Maple House, London, W1T 7NF, UK; christina.chu{at}


In response to the government’s drive to expand Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination Systems (EPaCCS) across England by 2020, further evidence for this intervention needs to be established quickly. With palliative and end-of-life care research being an underfunded area, the availability and lower costs of routine databases make it an attractive resource to integrate into studies evaluating EPaCCS without jeopardising research quality. This article describes how routine databases can be used to address the current paucity of high-quality evidence; they can be used in a range of study designs, including randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental designs, and may also be able to contribute quality of life or patient-reported outcome measures.

  • palliative care
  • statistics & research methods
  • public health
  • health services administration & management

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  • Contributors CSC had the idea for the article, performed the literature search, and wrote the article. The author attests that all listed authors meet authorship criteria and that no others meeting the criteria have been omitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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