The International Conference on Malignant Bowel Obstruction: A Meeting of the Minds to Advance Palliative Care Research

Robert S. Krouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


There is a dearth of well-designed clinical research focusing on palliative care in cancer patients, especially those who are near the end of life. Reasons for this include ethical dilemmas in conducting such trials, communication barriers between specialties, and unclear standards for best care practices. To ensure that patients with incurable illnesses are offered the best available care, it is essential to develop and disseminate research methodologies well suited to this population. Given the multidimensional and culture-dependent nature of the end-of-life experience, it is necessary to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to developing research methods. As a means of initiating the process of palliative clinical research methodology development, malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) was used as a model to develop a research protocol. Although many treatment options for MBO have been proposed, existing literature offers little guidance with regard to algorithms for optimal management. To this end, an international leaders in quality-of-life research, ethnocultural variability, palliative medicine, surgical oncology, gastroenterology, major consortium research, medical ethics, and patient advocacy/cancer survivors was convened in Pasadena, California, on November 12-13, 2004. Participants also represented the broad ethnic and racial perspectives required to develop culturally sensitive research methods. Consensus on methodological approaches was attained through vigorous debate. Using the conference-developed MBO model to implement trials will advance palliative care research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S1-S6
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Palliative care research
  • end-of-life care
  • malignant bowel obstruction
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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