WG Mulitprofessional Palliative Care Research Working Group

Multiprofessional palliative care research working group

Complementing a high quality of palliative patients’ care, palliative care research is of high importance to us in order to improve our knowledge about symptoms, concerns and needs of both patients and their families. Although we know that scientific work can be a challenge for patients and their families and it might cause additional burden, we feel highly committed to contribute to further improvements in their treatment, support, and health care options.

Comprehensive palliative care addresses a broad range of issues. Next to physical symptoms, it also integrates psychological, existential, spiritual and social aspects may arise in this stage of care. Palliative care not only focuses on patients suffering from incurable progressive diseases, but also addresses problems, concerns and needs of families and friends. Therefore, our working group aims to comprehensively evaluate problems and needs of patients with incurable progressive diseases and their families. Better and more detailed knowledge about respective issues can help to improve multiprofessional patient care, treatment, supportive interventions, and specialized health care options. Our working group is characterized by a multiprofessional cooperation of scientists, physicians, nurses, and therapists representing the comprehensive principles of palliative patient care.

Main focuses are gender-specific differences in palliative care, problems and needs of family caregivers, relatives and families, palliative health care research, as well as the early integration of palliative care in the oncologic treatment of patients with advanced cancer. Working group members:

  • Prof. Dr. Karin Oechsle (Leader)
  • Dipl. soz. Anneke Ullrich (Research associate)
  • Dr. sportwiss. Wiebke Jensen (Research associate)
  • Karin Küchenmeister (Study nurse)
  • Dr. Anne Kamphausen (Physician, Department of Anaesthesiology)
  • Sarah Kordovan (Music therapist)
  • René Scheer (Nurse)
  • PD Dr. Christoph Seidel (Physician, Department of Oncology and Hematology)
  • Dr. Jens Weidmann (Physician, Department of Oncology and Hematology)
  • Dr. Regine Wiese (Physician, Department of Anaesthesiology)

M D. thesis students:

  • Igor Abramovich
  • Lilian Ascherfeld
  • Sebastian Berkemeier
  • Jennifer Ehlert
  • Sophia Eicken
  • Gianna Gabrielli
  • Kristina Grube
  • Katharina Iversen
  • Alena Kanitz
  • Luise Kelm
  • Matthias Knöpker
  • Rina Latscha
  • Hanna Roese
  • Lea Weber
  • Michael Wolfram

Contact data:

Mrs Karin Kuechenmeister
Study coordinator palliative care

Building O24, 2nd floor, Room Nr. 236

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

E-mail: k.kuechenmeister@uke.de
Phone: 0049-40-7410-50667
Fax: 0049-040-7410-58841

Cooperation partners:

  • Prof. Dr. phil. Anja Mehnert; Department of Medical Psychology and Sociology; University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany
  • Dr. Sigrun Vehling, Prof. Dr. Corinna Bergelt, Dr. phil. Frank Schulz-Kindermann, Prof. Dr. phil. Holger Schulz, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Medical Psychology, UKE
  • Dr. Barbara Koch, Dr. Julia Quidde, Dr. Alexander Stein, University Cancer Center Hamburg, Germany
  • Dr. Maike Rybczynski, Prof. Dr. Yskert von Kodolitisch, University Heart Center Hamburg, Germany

Scientific cooperation within the palliative care network of Hamburg:

  • Dr. med. Maja Falckenberg, Annette Rommel, „Das Palliativteam“
  • Maike Fobbe-Maeke, Marten Müller, „Asklepios Westklinikum“
  • Dr. med. Joachim Guntau, „Albertinen-Krankenhaus“
  • Dr. med. Wiebke Hollburg, Dr. med. Claudia Wenzel, Dr. med. Sigrun Müller-Hagen, Sven Goldbach, Udo Hansen „PalliativPartner Hamburg GbR“
  • Denise Kirsch, „Palliativnetz Hamburg-West e.V.“
  • Dr. med. Eva Müller, „Palliativstation Agaplesion Diakonieklinikum“

Active participation of projects of

  • Palliative Care Working Group of the German Cancer Society
  • Palliative Care Working Group within the network of Comprehensive Cancer Centers certified by the German Cancer Aid


  • Damp-Stiftung
  • Hamburger Krebsgesellschaft e.V.
  • Eppendorfer Krebs- und Leukämiehilfe e.V.
  • Astrid Haugstrup Sörensen Gedächtnis-Stiftung
  • Cora Lobscheid-Stiftung
  • Förderverein der Palliativmedizin am UKE e.V.
Further funding is welcome to ensure the continuity of our research.

Publications of the palliative care research group (12/15):


  • Vehling S, Oechsle K, Kamphausen A, Hroch S, Bokemeyer C, Mehnert A. The preference to discuss expected survival is associated with loss of meaning and purpose in terminally ill cancer patients. J Palliat Med 2015; 18: 970-6.
  • Ernst J, Friedrich M, Lehmann C, Vehling S, Oechsle K, Koch U, Mehnert A. Die Mitteilung schlechter Nachrichten durch den Arzt: Die deutsche Version des MPP- (Measure of Patients’ Preferences) Fragebogens zu den kommunikativen Präferenzen von Krebspatienten. Das Gesundheitswesen 2015; epub.
  • Scheffold K, Philipp R, Engelmann D, Schulz-Kindermann F, Rosenberger C, Oechsle K, Härter M, Wegscheider K, Lordick F, Lo C, Hales S, Rodin G and Mehnert A. Efficacy of a brief manualized intervention Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) adapted to German cancer care settings: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Cancer 2015; 15: 592.


  • Oechsle K, Wais C, Vehling S, Bokemeyer C, Mehnert A. Relationship between symptom burden, distress and the sense of dignity in terminally ill cancer patients. J Pain Symp Manag 2014; 48: 313-21.
  • Jensen W, Baumann FT, Stein A, Bloch W, Bokemeyer C, de Wit M, Oechsle K. A randomized pilot study on exercise training in patients with metastatic gastrointestinal cancer undergoing palliative chemotherapy. J Supp Care Cancer 2014; 22: 1797-806.
  • Jensen W, Bialy L, Ketels G, Baumann FT, Bokemeyer C, Oechsle K. Physical exercise and therapy in terminally ill cancer patients: a retrospective analysis. J Supp Care Cancer 2014; 22: 1261-8.


  • Jensen W, Oechsle K, Baumann HJ, Mehnert A, Bloch W, Bokemeyer C, Baumann FT. Effects of exercise training programs on physical performance and quality of life in patients with metastatic lung cancer undergoing palliative chemotherapy - a study protocol. J Contemp clin trials 2013; 37: 120-128.
  • Oechsle K, Goerth K, Bokemeyer C, Mehnert A. Anxiety and depression in relatives of palliative care patients – impact on their perspective on the patient`s symptom burden. J Pall Med 2013; 16: 1095 - 101.
  • Vehling S, Oechsle K, Koch U, Mehnert A. Receiving Palliative Treatment Moderates the Effect of Age and Gender on demoralization in Patients with Cancer. PLoS ONE 2013; 8: e59417.
  • Oechsle K, Goerth K, Bokemeyer C, Mehnert A. Symptom burden in palliative care patients – perspective of patients, their relatives and treating physicians. J Supp Care Cancer 2013; 21: 1955-62.


  • Vehling S, Lehmann C, Oechsle K, Bokemeyer C, Krüll A, Koch U, Mehnert A. Is advanced cancer associated with demoralization and lower global meaning? The role of tumor stage and physical problems in explaining existential distress in cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology 2012; 21: 54-63.


  • Oechsle K, Jensen W, Schmidt T, Reer R , Braumann KM, de Wit M, Bokemeyer C. Physical activity, Quality of life and the Interest in physical exercise programs in patients undergoing palliative chemotherapy. Supp Care Cancer 2011; 19: 613-9.
  • Vehling S, Lehmann C, Oechsle K, Bokemeyer C, Krüll A, Koch U, Mehnert A. Global meaning and meaning-related life-attitudes: exploring their role in predicting depression, anxiety and demoralization in cancer patients. Supp Care Cancer 2011; 19: 513-20.