Grant Funds Study of End-of-Life Care Tool

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IUPUI says the findings of Hickman and her team will help direct the development of interventions, guide practice improvements and inform policy. IUPUI says the findings of Hickman and her team will help direct the development of interventions, guide practice improvements and inform policy.
INDIANAPOLIS -

A professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing at IUPUI has secured a $2.2 million grant. The funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research will support the study of an end-of-life planning tool by a research team led by Susan Hickman.

In addition to teaching nursing ethics, Hickman is co-director of the IUPUI Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training Signature Center.

The tool is used by patients and families throughout the country and helps ensure palliative preferences are honored. These include life-sustaining treatment, resuscitation, medical intervention, comfort care, hospitalization, intubation, mechanical ventilation, antibiotic and artificial nutrition options.

Hickman says "we often fail to ask patients what they want. My goal is to help support patients and families in thinking about what kinds of care they do and don't want and to help them plan ahead. The research targets use of the form in nursing homes because many patients with advanced disease live and receive medical care in that setting. This makes end-of-life planning particularly salient for these patients."

The IU School of Medicine says the research team also includes Alexia Torke of the IU School of Medicine, Rebecca Sudore of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and Bernard Hammes of Gundersen Health System.

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