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Professor Janet Hardy recognised for palliative care research

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Professor Janet Hardy recognised for palliative care research

Every day, Professor Janet Hardy is surrounded by people who are terminally ill and yet she still believes she has one of the most positive and rewarding jobs there is.

An internationally respected leader in palliative care, Prof Hardy has been a pioneer in undertaking studies that in the past have been regarded as impossible—undertaking research in patients with life limiting diseases that may not help them directly but that will often be of benefit to future patients.

As Mater’s Director of Palliative Medicine and clinical program leader for Palliative and Supportive Care Research at Mater Research, Prof Hardy has a developed a wide portfolio of clinical trials ranging from electroacupuncture to relieve nausea and the effect of steroids on sleep quality to the use of intraperitoneal bevacizumab to prevent the reaccumulation of  malignant ascites. 

In June, Prof Hardy was named as the Queensland recipient of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) 75th Anniversary Award for her extensive palliative care research at the Mater.

Prof Hardy said that while many people think that conducting research with people who are in advanced stages of illness is not possible, her 23 years of research shows that it is possible and important.

“I’ve found many patients’ sense of altruism is strong,” she said.

“Even though the research we conduct isn’t likely to assist them directly, many are willing to be part of my research into pain and symptom control because they know it can help others in a similar situation in the future.”

Professor Hardy said she was delighted to be recognised with the award because it helps raise the profile of palliative care research.

“My research forms the basis of the care we provide to people with advanced stages of cancer, and improving the quality of these patients’ lives does matter a lot.”

Prof Hardy (pictured with her team of researchers) has displayed her award, which is an original piece of glassware by Queensland Artist Tina Cooper, in her home.

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