Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Winter 2017-18

Research and Training Opportunities in Hospice and Palliative Care

Neha P. Gothe, PhD and Amanda N. Szabo-Reed, PhD; Aging Special Interest Group (SIG) Co-Chairs

Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to caring for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. The model is focused on quality of care and life and takes into account the patient's needs and wishes. A detailed history about hospice care is outlined on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization page.

National Statistics and Surveys

National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP) is a new initiative by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to provide reliable, accurate, relevant and timely statistical information to support and inform long-term care services policy, research and practice. The main goals of NSLTCP are to: (1) estimate the supply and use of paid, regulated long-term care services providers, (2) estimate key policy-relevant characteristics and practices, (3) produce national and state-level estimates, where feasible, (4) compare among sectors, and (5) monitor trends over time. NSLTCP is a biennial study of adult day services centers, residential care communities, nursing homes, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. NSLTCP uses administrative data for home health and hospice agencies obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

It is estimated that there are 4000 hospice care agencies in the United States (2014). The number of patients was 1.3 million in 2013. For more data and statistics, visit the NCHS website.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization also provides an annual overview of hospice care delivery. Their annual report can be accessed here.

Research Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health has a number of Funding Opportunities pertinent to hospice and palliative care needs for individuals with rare diseases as well as their caregivers. Below are some currently active announcements (as of November 2017):

Palliative Care Needs of Individuals with Rare Advanced Diseases and Their Family Caregivers (R21)

Advancing the Science of Geriatric Palliative Care (R01)

Improving Individual and Family Outcomes through Continuity and Coordination of Care in Hospice (R21) 

Research on Informal and Formal Caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (R01)

Training Opportunities - Becoming a Hospice or Palliative Care Specialist

There are a variety of formal training programs, certificate programs and research training opportunities available in hospice or palliative care. These programs include formalized curriculum to help individuals become a specialist in hospice or palliative care.

Graduate Studies in Hospice and Palliative Care

University of Colorado Denver, Interprofessional Master of Science in Palliative Care

University of Maryland, Master of Science in Palliative Care

Drexel University, Holistic Hospice and Palliative Care Certificate

University of South Florida, Hospice, Palliative Care and End of Life Studies

Post-Docs in Hospice and Palliative Care

Palliative Care Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Programs

Palliative Care McGill

Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship program at University of Rochester

Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care at University of Alabama at Birmingham

Palliative Care at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio

Other Opportunities for Training

Athena Institute Hospice Volunteer Program