Studying Communications & Interactions in Home Hospice
Effective communication can make a large impact on a person’s health. As part of University of Utah’s College of Nursing, the Hospice Today Project is a research study that examines how members of an entire hospice care team communicate with hospice families.
Examining How Hospice Care Teams Communicate With Families
Our path to starting this study began several years ago in a place you might not expect. Our director, Lee Ellington PhD, was working on identifying communication strategies used during poison control calls that helped people get better emergency care. This work led to the development of communication training procedures that are still used in poison control centers around the country.
Realizing the potential for effective communication to make an impact on a person’s health, Dr. Ellington began to assemble a team of researchers with different backgrounds to start looking at communication in other areas of health care. One important area the team began studying was how nurses communicate with family caregivers and patients, which led us to study interactions in home hospice.
Our initial research suggested that while there were many strengths in how nurses and families worked together, there was room for improvement, especially related to involving family caregivers as important members of the hospice care team. The Hospice Care Today Project will expand our previous work by looking at how members of the entire hospice care team communicate with hospice families. Similar to our work with poison control, we hope that this study will lead to practical recommendations for better communication with hospice families.
This study is possible thanks to funding and collaboration from several different agencies. Our study is funded by a R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research.
Our study would not be possible without the assistance of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group, a cooperative dedicated to studying and improving palliative care around the country.
These organizations all offer research funding and collaboration opportunities for individuals interested in hospice and palliative care research.
Our research project is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is made up of two related studies: