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New grant for WSU to help fund chronic care intervention study

Tuesday December 3, 2013
Cindy Corbett, RN
Cindy Corbett, RN
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The Washington State University College of Nursing, Spokane, Wash.,secured a $1.3 million federal grant to teach people with multiple chronic health issues how to better manage their conditions, according to a news release.

Nursing associate dean for research Cindy Corbett, RN, PhD, MSN, said in a news release the four-year National Institute on Aging grant, received in June, pairs her college with Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington and the Community Health Association of Spokane. She said the project will use a chronic care management model adopted by the Washington Department of Social and
Health Services.

Study parameters

The money will allow the Spokane group to hire a three-person care team, including a nurse and a social worker who will recruit 300 CHAS patients with at least two chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, with the first participant recruited Oct. 28, according to a spokesman for WSU.

Half of the participants will receive regular visits from the care team, which will offer information and advice to patients and help them set health-related goals, according to Corbett. The other participants will get minimal attention — a baseline visit and subsequent phone calls every two months for a year from a social services paraprofessional. If minimal attention group participants indicate they need community resources, they will be provided with the names and contact information for appropriate organizations, according to a spokesman for the university. The patients will be mentored and monitored for a year.

Corbett said the purpose of the study is to determine whether the care team’s interventions will lead to better health for the people who receive the help. She says the partners are particularly interested in whether those patients become more actively involved in their own care and use hospital emergency rooms less frequently.

Because the care team won’t have the capacity to monitor all 300 patients at once, participant recruitment will be staggered so the team can work with a few dozen patients at a time, according to Corbett. As a result, the patient management part of the study will take about 3 1/2 years. Other WSU Spokane professors will be part of the team that analyzes the collected data.


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