Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Active Grants

Reducing Disparities in the Quality of Palliative Care for Older African Americans through Improved Advanced Care Planning

Compared to whites, seriously ill African Americans are less likely to enroll in hospice, more likely to experience poor communication with providers, and more likely to receive poor-quality, high-cost care at the end of life, including avoidable hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays. African Americans are also less likely to participate in advance care planning. Researchers have yet to determine if these differences are related to cultural beliefs and preferences of well-informed patients or inequitable access to advance care planning.

Comparative Effectiveness of Early Integrated Telehealth versus In-Person Palliative Care for Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer

Patients with serious cancers, such as advanced lung cancer, often experience physical and psychological symptoms that interfere with their ability to enjoy life. These patients must also engage in difficult conversations with clinicians about their wishes for care toward the end of life, such as whether to receive life-prolonging measures and when to stop cancer treatment and enroll in hospice. Involving palliative care clinicians in the care of patients with advanced cancer, beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout cancer treatment, can help improve patients’ symptoms, quality of life, and the care they receive at the end of life.

End-of-Life in Assisted Living: Links Between Structure, Process and Outcomes

Given the demographic imperative of a rapidly aging population, a major challenge of the 21st century will be the growing prevalence of older adults who die from old age, most within the context of advanced chronic illness. Increasing numbers of these older adults will receive care and die in assisted living (AL), currently the fastest growing long-term care (LTC) option.

Dignity Therapy RCT led by Nurses or Chaplains or Elderly Cancer Outpatients

Our long-term goal is to improve spiritual care outcomes for elderly patients facing a cancer diagnosis. We will use a nurse-led or chaplain-led intervention, Dignity Therapy (DT), focused on dignity conservation tasks such as settling relationships, sharing words of love, and preparing for separation by death. These tasks are central needs for elderly patients with cancer, but it is not clear if DT should be led by nurses or chaplains, the two disciplines within palliative care most available to provide DT.

Cannabis Oil Consultation for Patients with Advanced Cancer: Process for Evaluation and Impact

The Supportive Care Clinic (SCC) at Emory has been supporting the use of cannabis oil for the past two years as part of a standard palliative care consultation. The SCC has engaged in the support of legal use of cannabis largely due to patient demand as well as changing laws permitting the medical use of cannabis for patients with serious illnesses. Patients that seek the use of cannabis oil often have serious, terminal illness. Request for cannabis oil often opens a gateway opportunity to a larger conversation regarding the extent of physical and psychological symptom burden, quality of life, and treatment options (or lack thereof) for their underlying illness.

The Art of Palliation: A novel, interprofessional museum-based curriculum to promote palliative care skills

A unique six-part art museum-based curriculum designed to foster core palliative care clinical competencies including reflective practice, self-awareness, and interprofessional and team communication.