Project Summary

COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement

This enhancement seeks to generate knowledge about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care for persons with dementia and their families. The project will leverage work with its stakeholder advisory council, which includes people living with dementia, family caregivers, healthcare clinicians, and community-based organizations such as memory centers and the Alzheimer’s Association, to better understand the needs and priorities of these stakeholders related to COVID-19.

The project team will develop a prioritized list of research questions around palliative care, while examining questions and outcomes related to COVID-19 from the perspectives represented on the council and their wider networks of constituents.

Enhancement Award Amount: $102,085

Background: Addressing dementia and its consequences for the patient, the family, and society is one of today’s greatest public health challenges. How best to work with families confronted with a diagnosis of dementia to support quality of life and plan future care has not been well studied. The importance of a palliative care approach for those with dementia is increasingly recognized, yet care is fragmented and palliative care needs of people with dementia and their caregivers are often poorly addressed.

Proposed Solution: Build a sustainable alliance of key stakeholders who are engaged in the development, execution, and dissemination of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) for better palliative care for persons living with dementia and their families.

Objectives: The objectives to reach the project’s ultimate goal of PCOR that is relevant and important to people with dementia, their family caregivers, healthcare providers, and policy makers are to: build an alliance of patient, family caregiver, community, clinician, research, and local and national organizational partners; build capacity for active participation in PCOR among this diverse group of stakeholders; develop a toolkit to provide guidance for engaging persons with dementia and their family caregivers as collaborators in dementia care research; and identify priorities for a PCOR agenda for dementia-specific palliative care.

Activities: The project team will establish a stakeholder advisory council (SAC) that will plan and implement webinars in years 1 and 2 that focus on PCOR methodology and that review existing evidence about palliative care in dementia. A symposium in year 1 will bring stakeholders together to discuss PCOR methodology and the toolkit for engaging persons with dementia and their families in PCOR. A symposium in year 2 will be focused on identifying priorities for a PCOR agenda for dementia-specific palliative care. A web portal will be used to support communication for building the partnership and collaborating with stakeholders to prioritize PCOR questions identified in the symposiums.

Outcomes: An expected long-term outcome is that stakeholders actively participate in PCOR that optimizes palliative care for people living with dementia and their families throughout the disease trajectory. Measureable short-term outcomes are: increased capacity of researchers and clinicians to engage diverse stakeholders in PCOR; stakeholder partnership that is confident to engage in PCOR about palliative care in dementia; and commitment from national organizations to promote PCOR in this area. Outputs are a toolkit for partnership engagement in PCOR in dementia, a white paper based on the two symposiums, and a prioritized agenda for PCOR in dementia-focused palliative care.

Stakeholder Engagement: Representatives from key stakeholder groups who will participate in the SAC are: people with early-stage dementia, family caregivers, community agencies, clinicians, researchers, Alzheimer’s Association, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and policy makers. The larger group of stakeholders will be engaged through the annual symposiums, webinars, and the website for exchange of information and ongoing communication.

Project Collaborators: UT Health collaborators include the Caring for the Caregiver Program, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, as well as the Alzheimer’s Association.

More About This Engagement Award Project

Online Community Portal

Project Poster

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Symposium Agenda

September 22, 2020 Virtual Symposium “Listening to Stakeholder Voices in Dementia Care & Research”

March 16, 2021 Virtual Symposium “Dementia Care in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact for Families”

Project Resource: Symposium Report

Awardee Share and Tell

Hear from this Engagement Award's team about valuable lessons and insight on successful ways to shift to or implement a virtual PCOR/CER engagement event in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Watch here

Project Information

Carole White, RN, PhD
Neela Patel, MD, Alicia Parker, MD, and Deborah James, PhD, RN
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
$352,065

Key Dates

34 months
May 2021
2018

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Last updated: November 23, 2021