• Implementing Primary Palliative Care in Post-acute nursing home care: Protocol for an embedded pilot pragmatic trial

      Carpenter, Joan G.; Hanson, Laura C.; Hodgson, Nancy; Murray, Andrew; Hippe, Daniel S.; Polissar, Nayak L.; Ersek, Mary (Elsevier Inc., 2021-07-26)
      Introduction: Older adults with serious illness frequently receive post-acute rehabilitative care in nursing homes (NH) under the Part A Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Benefit. Treatment is commonly focused on disease-modifying therapies with minimal consideration for goals of care, symptom relief, and other elements of palliative care. Intervention: The evidence-based Primary Palliative Care in Post-Acute Care (PPC-PAC) intervention for older adults is delivered by nurse practitioners (NP). PPC-PAC NPs assess and manage symptoms, conduct goals of care discussions and assist with decision making; they communicate findings with NH staff and providers. Implementation of PPC-PAC includes online and face-to-face training of NPs, ongoing facilitation, and a template embedded in the NH electronic health record to document PPC-PAC. Objectives: The objectives of this pilot pragmatic clinical trial are to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of the PPC-PAC intervention and its implementation for 80 seriously ill older adults newly admitted to a NH for post-acute care. Methods: Design is a two-arm nonequivalent group multi-site pilot pragmatic clinical trial. The unit of assignment is at the NP and unit of analysis is NH patients. Recruitment occurs at NHs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Effectiveness (patient quality of life) data are collected at two times points—baseline and 14–21 days. Conclusion: This will be the first study to evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based primary palliative care intervention specifically designed for older adults with serious illness who are receiving post-acute NH care.