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About Us

Who are we?

The End-of-Life Care Research Group conducts high-quality scientific research in end-of-life care in Belgium and across Europe. Researchers from different scientific backgrounds work in a common research structure to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborative research. The group is spearheaded by a number of experienced researchers and strives to optimize the training and support of junior researchers in order to expand future expertise in end-of-life care research.

The research group also aims to achieve maximum dissemination of its research findings through scientific publications, conferences, professional organizations and the popular media. This means our research leads to the improvement of medical training and education, of end-of-life care practice and organization, and of political and institutional policy.

The current team of the End-of-Life Care Research Group consists of about 60 core staff members. The team is led by the director prof. dr. Luc Deliens, medical sociologist, professor of Palliative Care Research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, and by the co-director prof. dr. Freddy Mortier, professor of ethics at Ghent University and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University.


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Three research programs

Our research projects are coordinated within three main research programs, each managed by at least two post-doctoral research fellows and one program chair.

Public Health & Palliative Care

Chaired by Prof. dr. Joachim Cohen

The overarching long-term research aim of the Public Health and Palliative Care Program is to describe and understand the health, wellbeing and the quality of care of populations affected by serious illness, dying and bereavement and to evaluate what can improve or maintain these outcomes. The programme applies a population health perspective, mostly focusing on full populations rather than on individual patients and their families.

Joachim Cohen

Aging and Palliative Care

Chaired by Prof. dr. Lieve Van den Block

The overarching long-term research aim of the Aging and Palliative Care Research Program is to generate new knowledge to better understand how to improve palliative and end-of-life care and end-of-life decision-making, for older people and people with dementia and their family carers. State-of-the-art quantitative and qualitative research methods coming from the medical, social and psychological sciences will be applied, and new methods will be developed to improve scientific evidence.

Lieve Van den Block

Palliative Care for People with Cancer

Chaired by dr. Kim Beernaert

The overarching long-term research aim of the Palliative Care Research for People with Cancer Program is to acquire the insights necessary to improve the quality of palliative care for cancer patients and understand the mechanisms of (early) integration of palliative care into mainstream oncology treatment.

Kim Beernaert

Our research group in motion

With a heart open
To what was love and lovely
On the last journey

Haiku by Herman Van Rompuy
Former President of the European Council