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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 11, 2002

Visiting Scholar To Speak On Pain Management, End-Of-Life Care

Some of the key issues faced by dying patients and those who care for them include pain management, the role of technology in extending life and how a patient's culture impacts care decisions. Whether someone has a terminal disease or is an older person nearing the end of life, when managed well these issues can improve the physical and emotional well-being of patients and their family caregivers.

Clinical nursing care expert Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., will address the current national mandate for improved end-of-life care and identify strategies for achieving better care at the end of life at a free public lecture at 4 p.m. April 22 in the Richey Ballroom, located in the Iowa Memorial Union on the University of Iowa campus.

Ferrell will be at the UI April 21-23 as the College of Nursing Kelting Visiting Scholar. In addition to the public lecture, she will meet with an interdisciplinary group of faculty whose research is focused on pain; discuss with nursing faculty strategies for advocating for quality pain care for seniors and integration of end-of-life content into nursing education; present Grand Rounds at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI; and lead a discussion on how to implement research findings in practice settings.

Ferrell is an oncology nurse and research scientist at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif. She is the lead researcher on several studies and projects related to end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues for cancer survivors. She has written four books and hundreds of articles on those topics.

" Recently, Last Acts, an organization dedicated to the improvement of end-of-life care, released the nation's first report card measuring states on their ability to provide quality end-of-life care, and the findings were not good," said Rita Frantz, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Biobehavioral Nursing area of study in the UI College of Nursing. "They found that health care providers are generally lacking in expertise to effectively manage patients at the end of life, and the public has little knowledge of resources available to assist them when a family member is approaching death. Training and programs on improving the quality of end-of-life care are essential to assure that people die comfortably and in the way they desire."

Ferrell's visit is sponsored by the UI College of Nursing Kelting Visiting Scholar Fund, the Biobehavioral Nursing area of study, the Adult and Gerontological Nursing area of study, and the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Bill Donahue in advance at (319) 353-5520.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

CONTACT: Bonnie McIntosh (319) 335-7003,