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University of Iowa News Release


May 19, 2008

Care centers work with UI researchers to improve elder care

Long-term care facilities in eastern and northeast Iowa have teamed with researchers at the University of Iowa College of Nursing to address two common issues of older adults in health care facilities: pain management and incontinence.

"Despite the availability of evidence-based practice protocols that could dramatically improve care and outcomes, the use of these protocols in care facilities is sparse," said Janet Specht, Ph.D., a UI gerontological nursing professor. With this project, Specht, and colleagues Paula Mobily, Ph.D., and Ann Bossen, will determine the best educational techniques to help registered nurses and certified nurse aides use the most current knowledge to care for elders with pain and urinary incontinence.

Selected staff members at the facilities have been identified and invited to assist in coordinating efforts. Other staff members have been chosen to lead efforts to focus on concerns of maintaining urine control.

In a later phase, another team of staff will learn how to lead efforts to improve pain management by looking at non-drug treatment for managing pain and in identifying and treating pain in older adults, especially those with Alzheimer's disease. All staff will be involved in the project, through assisting with surveys and integrating the changes into the care they provide for residents.

"This research is significant because of the urgent need in long-term care facilities to improve outcomes for elderly residents with incontinence and pain," Mobily said.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Participating care facilities and their locations are listed below:

CEDAR FALLS: Western Community, Elizabeth E. Martin Health Care Center

CEDAR RAPIDS: Cottage Grove Place, Meth-wick Community Health Center, West Ridge Care Center

DECORAH: Oneota Riverview Care Facility, Wellington Place

DUBUQUE: Ennoble Care Center, Heritage Manor, Luther Manor, Stonehill Care Center

EDGEWOOD: Edgewood Care Center

ELMA: Colonial Manor

GUTTENBURG: Guttenburg Care Center

INDEPENDENCE: West Village, Buchanan County Care Center

LANSING: Thornton Manor

NEW HAMPTON: New Hampton Care Center

OELWEIN: Grandview Care Center

STRAWBERRY POINT: Strawberry Point Care Center

WAUKON: Northgate Care Center

WAVERLY: Bartels Lutheran Woodlands Terrace

WEST UNION: Good Samaritan Society

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Michele Francis, University of Iowa College of Nursing,
319-335-8960,; Ann Bossen, 319-335-7136,