Nursing research at UBC’s Okanagan campus will be an integral part of a four-year province-wide initiative aimed at improving palliative care services in B.C.
The overall project is funded through an $800,000 grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
According to a recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, almost three quarters of British Columbians who die are not identified as people who could benefit from services associated with palliative care.
A province-wide network called the Initiative for a Palliative Approach in Nursing: Evidence and Leadership (iPANEL) will examine ways of offering palliative services in areas such as long-term care, acute medical wards and at home.
Through research, iPANEL will create knowledge about how nurses can further integrate palliative philosophies and services into a variety of care settings.
UBC nursing researcher Barb Pesut, Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity, and Barbara McLeod, a clinical nurse specialist from Fraser Health Authority, lead one of three principal areas of research called Educating for a Palliative Approach, which involves how to best prepare nurses, taking into account their work environments and skill mix.
“Care for those with chronic life-limiting illness is an important part of an overall health strategy for British Columbians,” said Pesut. “Our goal is to establish education programs and clinical practices by gathering evidence that is relevant, useful and well-communicated to both practicing and academic nurses.”
Elisabeth Antifeau represents Interior Health on iPANEL as a practitioner co-investigator in the area of Patient and Family-Centred Improvements.
“We’re looking into practical opportunities for nurses to work with patients who have life-limiting illness,” said Antifeau.