Mary Potter Hospice aims to provide the best palliative care possible for the people we support. We undertake and encourage research to better understand and improve care for those living with a life-limiting illness.

5.2 meetingOur research focuses on the physical, social, psychological and spiritual challenges that patients and their loved ones experience.

We are also committed to developing and maintaining research partnerships. This allows researchers from other institutions to study aspects of palliative caring within our institution, as well as providing opportunities for our staff to enhance their research studies through collaboration.

Past and present collaborative efforts have included work with the Cancer Society, Motor Neuron Disease Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Massey University, and University of Otago Wellington.

Research News Autumn 2017

Research activities continue at Mary Potter Hospice involving both externally and internally based researchers. Currently, research is being undertaken into Pasifika peoples’ use of Palliative care services (Pacific meets West in Advancing Palliative Care for Pacific populations) which is led by Dr Sunia Foliaki of Massey University; and our own internal research project into the end of life viewpoints of hospice-based nurses is now in the analysis stage. Nurses at Te Omanga and Mercy Hospices also provided data for this research. Subsequently, we now have a greater amount of valuable data, and so the results should be of considerable interest. Future research projects involving our own staff at Mary Potter Hospice in conjunction with other researchers (eg, staff from the Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, Victoria University) are being considered. One is likely to involve research that considers cultural safety among Maori and Pasifika users of Mary Potter Hospice services (Eldridge, Woods et al.).

Hospice Research Fellow

Mary Potter Hospice employs a Research Fellow.  Our current Fellow is Martin Woods. Contact Martin on

Our latest research and conference presentations

Research articles

Bolton, L., Loveard, T. & Brander, P. (2016). Carer experiences in inpatient hospice care for patients with dementia, delirium and related cognitive impairment. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 22(8), 396-403.

Bolton, L. & Loveard, T. (2016). Te Kete Marie – The peaceful basket: An initiative for supporting people with dementia or delerium. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 22 (3), 130-136.

Iupati, S.P.M. & Ensor, B.R. (2016). Do Community hospice programmes reduce hospitalisation rate in patients with advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)? Internal Medicine Journal 46 (3), 295–300.

McBain, L., Donnelly, S., Hilder, J., O’Leary, C. & McKinlay, E. (2015). “I wanted to communicate my feelings freely”: A descriptive study of creative responses to enhance reflection in palliative medicine education. Published in BMC Medical Education, 15:180. doi: 10.1186/s12909-015-0465-4.

De Vries, K., Walton, J., Nelson, K. & Knox, R. (2015). An examination of the research priorities for a hospice service in New Zealand: A Delphi study. Journal of Palliative and Supportive Care, 1478-9515/15: 1-9. doi: 10.1017/S1478951515000838

Conference presentations

Ensor, B. (2015). End of life medications in NZ: Variations over time and context. Presented at 13th Australian Palliative Care Conference, Melbourne, September.  Downloaded from

Woods, M. (2015). Hearing the patient’s voice: Exploring patient perceptions of hospice services. Presented at 13th Australian Palliative Care Conference, Melbourne, September.  Downloaded from

Bateson, L. (2015). Development of an education and competency framework for health care assistants at Mary Potter Hospice. Presented at the 13th Australian Palliative Care Conference, Melbourne, September.  Downloaded from

Woods, M. & Bickley-Asher, J. (2015). The continuing euthanasia debate in N Z: What are the views of palliative care nurses? Presented at the 5th Palliative Care Nurses of New Zealand Conference, Wellington, October.

Ayley, W. & Eldridge, V. (2015). Home deaths: How are we doing? Presented at the 5th Palliative Care Nurses of New Zealand Conference, Wellington, October.

Mary Potter Hospice Research Forms:

Mary Potter Hospice Research Policy

Frequently asked questions

I would like to collect data at Mary Potter Hospice. What should I do?

Please read the Mary Potter Hospice Research Policy for the thorough answer you need. The Application to Conduct Research and other necessary forms you will need to submit to the Research Director are located above. As the policy states, you may be able to substitute Health & Disabilities Ethics Committees forms.

I would like to donate funds to Mary Potter Hospice specifically for research. Who do I contact?

Thank you! Please contact Vashi Wood 04 381 0173. Vashi and the Research Director will be happy to discuss possibilities with you.

How do I make a first contact about my initial research ideas involving Mary Potter Hospice?

Dr Brian Ensor
Director of Palliative Care
Mary Potter Hospice
PO Box 7442
Wellington 6242

+64 4 381 0149 or