An article published recently by ElderBranch outlines the need for palliative care in nursing homes and gives details of a new pilot study by the University of Rochester Medical Center, planned to improve care.
Project lead, Dr Temkin-Greener, cites a lack of nursing home-specific palliative care practice guidelines, inadequate staff education and a failure to integrate palliative care practices into regular care as some of the key barriers to nursing homes offering high quality, comprehensive palliative care.
The study involves a randomized controlled trial with 32 nursing homes being randomly assigned to either a control group or a treatment group. Researchers will work with the ‘treatment group’ to develop guidelines, a training programme and dedicated palliative care teams. The study will then compare outcomes for both groups, looking at information such as pain management, shortness of breath, and hospitalizations.