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New UIC center to study end-of-life transition
Date:12/13/2007

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has received a federal grant to create a center to study people as they transition to the end of life.

The UIC Center for End-of-Life Transition Research will advance the science of care for people of all ages facing death -- infants, children, adults and older adults. It is funded through a $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research, one of the National Institutes of Health.

"The American health care system often fails in providing appropriate care to people facing the end-of-life transition," said center director Diana Wilkie, professor and Harriet Werley Endowed Chair for Nursing Research. "More than half of the people dying of cancer do so with their pain unrelieved and their expressed wishes about life-sustaining treatments not honored."

Research also suggests that parents of children who died felt that their children suffered greatly during the last month of life, said Karen Kavanaugh, professor of maternal-child nursing and co-director of the center.

The new center, Kavanaugh said, will conduct research to foster "patient-centered, family-focused, respectful death" and planning for end-of-life care that is consistent with the patients' and families' values and priorities.

"The new center is a landmark opportunity to make important advances for palliative and end-of-life care," Kavanaugh said.

Four studies led by an interdisciplinary team from various colleges throughout UIC will be conducted during the five-year project.

One project will predict end-of-life in patients with advanced heart failure. Despite recent advances in drug and device therapy, the long-term prognosis of patients with advanced heart failure remains poor, says Catherine Ryan, research assistant professor of nursing and an expert in critical care, who will conduct the study.

"More than 5 million people live with advanced heart
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Contact: Sam Hostettler
samhos@uic.edu
312-355-2522
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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