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Dementia Palliative Care Clinical Trials Program
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Connie Cole, PhD, DNP, APRN, ACHPN

Scholar, 2023

Dr.   Connie Cole is a nurse scientist at the University of Colorado with research   interest and clinical expertise in palliative care, pain, and aging in the   nursing home setting. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the School of   Medicine, General Internal Medicine. Her research is informed by clinical   experience as a nursing assistant, director of nursing, Minimum Data Set   (MDS) coordinator, and nurse practitioner. In these roles, she has seen the   challenges associated with end-of-life care, pain and symptom management, and   complex care requirements of nursing home residents. Dr. Cole’s program of   research is aimed at reducing symptom burden and improving quality of life   for nursing home residents, particularly persons living with Alzheimer’s disease   and related dementia (ADRD). In her previous work she identified that despite   evidence-based pain treatment guidelines, nursing home residents continue to   experience pain and distressing symptoms amenable to treatment. To address   this conundrum, Dr. Cole is focusing on the integration of palliative care in   nursing homes through improved methods for identifying nursing home residents   with unmet palliative care needs. Currently, Dr. Cole is conducting a   qualitative study to identify and understand clinician perspectives about the   use of palliative care referral criteria with nursing home and ADRD   residents. Within the next year she plans to submit a competitive K23   application. The focus of this grant application will be on improving staff   ability to identify residents who would benefit from palliative care and   improving clinician skill and confidence in providing primary palliative care   within the nursing home setting.

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