News Releases

UMSON Awarded Research Grant to Explore Methods for Helping Non-Communicative Palliative Care Patients

September 25, 2012

Baltimore, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) — in collaboration with the University of Maryland Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy and the University of Maryland Medical Center — has been awarded a four-year, $2 million research grant to explore methods for helping to manage acute pain in critically-ill, hospitalized, palliative care patients who cannot communicate the presence of pain or its intensity to health care providers.

Across the settings in which palliative care is delivered, there is a shortage of evidence-based approaches for assessing and managing pain in these patients. This project, sponsored by the National Institute of Nursing Research and National Institutes of Health, is funded through May 2016, and will help attack this issue by testing innovative strategies of pain management.

Nurses and other health care providers will use a PAIN Algorithm to guide the assessment of pain, selection of pain medications, and management of medication side effects. The researchers will evaluate whether patients who are managed with the PAIN Algorithm have less severe pain and increased use of pharmacologic pain management strategies than those who are not managed with the PAIN Algorithm.

“These patients are at high risk for ineffective treatment, leaving them vulnerable to unnecessary suffering and other adverse effects,” said Deborah McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and principal investigator of the grant. “Our goal is to demonstrate that a systematic approach to assessing and managing pain in these vulnerable patients will improve their care and contribute to better clinical outcomes.”

# # #

The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largestnursing schools, and is ranked eleventh nationally. Enrolling more than 1,700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.