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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 24, 2005

Nursing Researchers Herr, Titler Receive $2.8 Million Grant

Keela Herr, Ph.D., (right) professor in the University of Iowa College of Nursing and principal investigator, and Marita Titler, Ph.D., director of Research, Quality and Outcomes Management in the Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services at UI Hospitals and Clinics and co-principal investigator, are recipients of a $2.8 million National Cancer Institute grant to study ways to improve cancer pain management in older adults.

"Pain is a significant concern for elders with advanced cancer in all practice settings, including hospices," Herr noted. "Though pain outcomes are better in hospice than non-hospice settings, there is considerable variation, and many patients still die in unresolved pain." Barriers to improving quality of pain care exist and impact consistent use of evidence-based practices for assessing and treating pain in these patients.

The project, "Cancer Pain in Elders: Promoting Evidence-Based Practices in Hospices," builds on a current grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Led by Titler, as principal investigator, and Herr, as co-principal investigator, that study is testing a multifaceted intervention -- known as Translating Research into Practice, or TRIP -- on adoption of acute pain management practices in hospitalized older adults. The new study will test the effects of the TRIP intervention on the pain practices of health care providers in hospices and pain outcomes in older adult hospice patients.

Herr is well known for her research and expertise in the area of geriatric pain assessment and management, and Titler has an extensive research portfolio in outcomes effectiveness research and translation science. Other UI collaborators on the grant include: Perry Fine, William Clarke, Sara Sanders, John Swegle and Toni Tripp-Reimer.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Michele Francis, 319-335-8960,