Specialist palliative care services have previously been studied to see whether their intervention is of benefit. However, there is a lack of data on whether interventions in individual palliative care units are evidence based. This study looked at 32 problems and 114 interventions over 1 month in January 2000 in an inpatient palliative care unit. These interventions were then researched to see if there had been trials showing their benefit. The results were then classified: 81% were evidence based (randomized controlled trials 48%, evidence from other trials 27%, convincing non-experimental evidence 6%). This compares favourably with studies performed in other areas of medicine.