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CWRU nursing school to study home visits for people with HIV and chronic illnesses
Date:7/11/2013

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing will assess how effective palliative care home health visits are in treating people with HIV and other chronic illnesses in a new four-year, $1.7-million study funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research.

With new medications, HIV is no longer a death sentence, said Jacquelyn Slomka, assistant professor of nursing and lead researcher. So patients with HIV are living longer, and, like other older people, developing chronic health conditions. Palliative care services can be especially helpful in meeting the everyday needs of patients with chronic conditions.

The study, in response to a call for proposals from the National Institutes of Health to explore palliative care for persons living with HIV, will examine outcomes for quality of life, symptom management, coping and advance care planning.

Two groupseach with 90 participants diagnosed with HIV at least two years before and having at least one chronic illnesswill be studied for three years to track the benefits of having professionals provide supportive services through home visits and phone calls.

Each patient will be visited regularly by an advanced practice nurse (APRN) and a social worker to provide on-going assessment of needs in the home environment, to assure adequate symptom management, to help them follow what their doctors prescribe and to marshal community resources.

"If effective, the program can potentially become a model for HIV care in conjunction with their clinical care," said Slomka.

The number and severity of their chronic illnesses and whether others are around to help them will determine how often a nurse and social worker visit a patient. Each participant will be surveyed at the beginning and four more times throughout the study to measure the effectiveness of the program in obtaining the desired outcomes. The fourth year of the study will
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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