Research and Grant Funding
- Created on September 16, 2013
UAB nursing school to study palliative care for vets, minorities, rural cancer patientsTo view the original UAB News release by Jennifer Lollar please click here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing has received a four-year, $720,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to study whether a phone-based palliative care intervention can help reduce access disparities for veterans, minorities and patients from rural areas who have advanced cancer.
Palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of illness. Research shows that when patients with incurable cancer receive palliative care along with regular cancer treatment, they have a better quality of life, as well as less symptoms and depression, and they may live longer.
Over the past decade, the study’s principal investigator, Marie A. Bakitas, D.N.Sc., APRN, FAAN, professor of nursing and Marie L. O'Koren Endowed Chair, has worked to develop Project ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends), a phone-based palliative care intervention for patients. Initial work has been done in an academic medical center setting.
“Nearly 60 million Americans, many of them veterans and ethnic minorities, live in rural areas where few palliative care services exist,” Bakitas said. “The American Cancer Society has set a nationwide objective to eliminate cancer disparities by 2015. Given that advanced cancer patients in rural areas are less likely to benefit from palliative services due to limited access and suboptimal care, we believe this intervention will provide an innovative way for cancer centers in these areas to provide palliative care.”
In the original ENABLE II study, a specially trained advanced practice nurse coached patients and their caregivers through a series of structured telephone sessions on topics such as problem solving, communication, symptom management and self-care, as well as medical decision-making. The participants had four weekly educational sessions and monthly follow-up sessions.
|Research shows that when patients with incurable cancer receive palliative care along with regular cancer treatment, they have a better quality of life, as well as less symptoms and depression, and they may live longer.|
“The patients who underwent this intervention had a better quality of life, less depression and lived longer than patients who received only regular cancer care,” Bakitas said. “This is extending the results of that study to patients and family members in the community.”
Bakitas said the project will target four communities representing rural geography and/or ethnic and racial diversity: Birmingham, Ala. (Birmingham VA Medical Center); Grand Rapids, Mich.; Spartanburg, SC.; and Bangor, Maine. Project teams at each site will work together over the next four years to tailor ENABLE to their individual communities.
“Our short-term goal is to learn the best way to bring palliative care services to patients and families to improve care and quality of life, as well as reduce the burden of cancer in these four communities,” Bakitas said. “We also will develop a toolkit that can be used to implement the model.”
The project’s long-term goal, Bakitas added, is to make this project accessible to patients and family members in other non-academic community cancer centers across the country.
“In so doing, we hope to reduce the suffering of patients living with cancer nationwide,” she said.
May 13-17, 2013, is National VA Research Week. On May 15, Bakitas is discussing a related project involving veterans during a poster presentation at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. The poster, “Oncology Clinicians’ Perspectives on Providing Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Cancer,” was built upon data collected from her palliative care research at White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont.
- Created on August 06, 2013
Veteran, UAB VA National Quality Scholar improving care through research
To view the original UAB News release by Jennifer Lollar please click here.
Suzie Miltner, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursingis passionate about veteran’s health care, and she has a personal understanding of what veterans need. Miltner attended college on an ROTC scholarship, spent six years in the Army Nurse Corps and is married to a retired Army officer.
- Created on March 21, 2013
The UAB School of Nursing maintains a diverse portfolio of funded research, training and educational grants. The school's Center for Nursing Research manages the pre and post award management of funding. To view the school's current funding portfolio click here.
- Created on March 21, 2013
UAB Gets Grant to Continue Interprofessional Student Training
To read the UAB News release by Jennifer Lollar click here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry, in partnership with the UAB schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Optometry, received a $150,000 renewal grant through the DentaQuest Foundation to train professional students to work collaboratively and recognize when they should make referrals to other professions.
- Created on March 21, 2013
Meneses Get Grant for Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Project
To view the UAB News release by Jennifer Lollar please click here.
Karen Meneses, Ph.D., associate dean for research at the UAB School of Nursing, has received a two-year, $150,000 grant from Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for a project, The Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Network.