News: Palliative Care Researcher Receives AACN Grant

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Kristie Aylett
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American Association of Critical-Care Nurses awards Impact Research Grant to Detroit palliative care nurse researcher

Meg Campbell, Wayne State University College of Nursing, receives AACN grant to investigate the impact of an algorithmic approach to ventilator withdrawal for patients at the end of life

AACN Impact Research Grants fund studies that address gaps in clinical bedside knowledge to support clinical inquiry and drive change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — April 23, 2013 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently awarded an AACN Impact Research Grant to Margaret “Meg” Campbell, RN, PhD, FAAN, a nationally known expert in hospital-based palliative care and end-of-life issues.

Campbell and her research team at Wayne State University, Detroit, will investigate the potential for standardizing ventilator withdrawal for patients at the end of life. The study is designed to develop an empirically driven, nurse-led approach to patient comfort during the ventilator withdrawal process, reducing patient suffering and family distress.

Nearly half a million patients undergo ventilator withdrawal each year, but there is little empirical evidence to inform this common procedure. With no accepted evidence-based best practices guiding ventilator withdrawal, clinicians rely on intuition, varying levels of experience or customary local practice.

The researchers will compare outcomes for patients who received a new approach to patients who received usual care. Data from this research will be used to guide additional testing of the algorithm in a future randomized trial.

Campbell has nearly 40 years of nursing experience, with 28 years of clinical and administrative work in hospice and palliative care nursing. She is an associate professor in the Office of Health Research at Wayne State University College of Nursing. She previously served as director of nursing research, palliative care and advanced practice nursing at Detroit Receiving Hospital, where she managed palliative care practice for nearly 25 years.

Campbell received the prestigious AACN Flame of Excellence Award during the 2012 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition for her sustained contributions to acute and critical care nursing at a high level and with broad reach.

She was one of the earliest clinicians to measure and disseminate positive financial outcomes from palliative care consultation and published some of the earliest work about palliative care in the ICU. A frequent contributor to critical care periodical literature, including AACN’s American Journal of Critical Care, she also authored a book titled “Forgoing Life-Sustaining Therapy: How to Care for the Patient Who Is Near Death.”

AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. Priority projects address gaps in clinical research at the organization or system level and translation of these findings to bedside clinicians. Projects include use of technology to assess patients and manage outcomes; ways to create a healing and humane environment; and processes and systems to optimize high acuity and critical care nursing.

Three Impact Research Grants are available annually to established researchers and beginning researchers with mentors. Applicants may request up to $50,000 in total costs for a maximum of three years. This year, AACN awarded two grants.

A research team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, led by Penn Nursing’s Martha A.Q. Curley, RN, PhD, FAAN, also received an Impact Research Grant this year. Via a multicenter study, the team will expand Curley’s work with the Braden Q Scale, which has become a widely used tool to predict pediatric pressure ulcer risk.

The researchers will further assess the predictive validity of the Braden Q Scale for the development of immobility-related pressure ulcers as well as test a new element, referred to as the Braden Q+D, to describe patient risk for medical device-related pressure ulcers.

Other 2013 grants from AACN support a variety of projects ranging from research related to reducing the burden of cardiac monitor alarms in neurological intensive care units, to understanding the psychological processes of surrogates making end-of-life decisions for patients to examining the relationship between nursing care and outcomes for patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest. Recipients are as follows:

  • James Dionne-Odom, RN, MSN, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H. (AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant)
  • Monica Rochman, PhD, RN, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)
  • Tina Mammone, RN, MS, NE-BC, CENP, University of California San Francisco Medical Center (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)

The association continues to award annually the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant for up to $10,000 and as many as three AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grants, up to $10,000 each.
Principal investigators for all grants must be current AACN members. Grant applications must be submitted online by Nov. 1, 2013. For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit www.aacn.org/grants.


About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. 92656-4109;
Phone: (949) 362-2000; Fax: (949) 362-2020; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme