The NPCRC awards grants to investigators conducting research projects aimed at relieving suffering and achieving the best possible quality of life for patients living with serious illness and their caregivers. The Pilot Project Support Grants are designed for mid-senior investigators to help them develop pilot data for larger externally funded research projects. The Junior Faculty Career Development Awards are designed to provide funding to promising junior investigators to protect their time for research.
In a collaborative parallel initiative with the NPCRC, the American Cancer Society (ACS) also supports pilot projects in palliative care and cancer modeled on the NPCRC’s program. View the ACS Grantees.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Ahluwalia will use implementation science methods to develop and pilot-test a clinical informatics intervention to systematize the conduct of ICU family conferences. She will first conduct focus groups with critical care and palliative care clinicians to identify barriers and facilitators to conducting a family conference and characterize provider needs and preferences for an informatics intervention. She will then convene a national expert panel to rate the validity and feasibility of specific processes of care and elements of communication for inclusion in an intervention. Based on findings from the focus groups and expert panel, Dr. Ahluwalia will pilot-test a prototype intervention at two VA sites and conduct a formative evaluation to inform wider-scale implementation efforts.
University of Pittsburgh
One in 5 Americans dies with intensive care unit (ICU) services, the majority of which are preceded by a decision to limit life-sustaining treatment. Family members involved in these decisions experience long-term symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Barnato's project will develop and pilot test a storytelling intervention in the early bereavement period to reduce this mental health symptom burden. She posits that telling the story of their involvement in the decision will reduce symptom burden through a process of emotional disclosure, cognitive processing, and social connections. Project deliverables include study protocols and phase II trial measures of feasibility, acceptability, and safety.
New York University
Dr. Ab Brody's award will fund him to develop and implement an interprofessional education and behavior change program for improving the assessment and management of pain, depression and agitation in dementia patients in home healthcare. The professions to receive the program include registered nurses and physical and occupational therapists. The research will examine how the program affects provider knowledge and attitudes towards elderly patients with dementia and whether it improves patient outcomes including symptom burden and emergency room and hospital admission rates.
The Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Buck's research focus is the palliative care needs of advanced heart failure patient and caregiver dyads. She will examine the relationships between the dyad's characteristics of mood and perception and their symptom management in a pilot study designed to generate information about the participants, variables, and the strength of the relationships between the variables in a primarily rural, underserved Appalachian population. This study will lay the groundwork for a future study of a dyadically informed symptom management intervention.
University of Maryland-Baltimore, School of Social Work
Dr. Cagle's research goal is to better understand the barriers and facilitators to the utilization of palliative care in nursing homes.
Instructor, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Gelfman's project will use propensity score matching to compare the difference in healthcare utilization and costs of hospitalization among patients with heart failure who received palliative care and those who received usual care. The results of this study will inform a future prospective cohort study comparing symptoms, survival, healthcare utilization and costs for hospitalized adults with heart failure who receive palliative care consultation with those patients receiving usual care.
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Dr. Nageswaran will use qualitative methods to study home health services in the care of children with complex chronic conditions, a special group of children who are medically fragile and require extensive medical care and support services. Dr. Nageswaran will use interviews to elicit caregivers' experiences with home health agencies in the care of their children with complex chronic conditions. Using focus group methodology, she will study home health providers' perspectives on communication between nurses and caregivers; and inter-agency collaborations in the care of children with complex chronic conditions.
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Washington School of Nursing
Dr. Reinke will conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and acceptability of a 6-session, home-based, video-enabled, individually tailored, psychosocial behavioral therapy intervention in 70 patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and co-morbid depression. She will use standardized measures to assess the efficacy of intervention on the primary outcome of depressive symptoms and secondary outcomes of dyspnea intensity and distress, fatigue, anxiety, physical activity, and quality of life at 8 weeks.
VA Physician Fellow in Health Services Research and Development
Dr. Simons' focus is decision analysis in patients living with advanced illness. Using cost-effectiveness analysis, she will examine how more accurate incorporation of the preferences of seriously ill patients effects their healthcare decisions, using the treatment of aortic stenosis as a case study.