Debora Dobbs, Ph.D.
Scholar, 2022

Debra Dobbs is an Associate Professor in the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida and serves as USF’s Academic Director of the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care and End-of Life Studies.  Her research has focused on palliative and hospice care education and training for providers of persons with dementia in assisted living communities.  She recently completed a feasibility stage 1b cluster randomized trial of the Palliative Care Education in Assisted Living for Dementia Care Providers (PCEAL-DCP) that was funded by the Florida Department of Health’s Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program (2019-21) in a sample of 10 assisted living communities in collaboration with two hospice partner organizations.  The PCEAL-DCP intervention is found to be feasible to implement in assisted living communities and to improve documentation of ACP discussions and increase hospice admissions. Her long-term objective is to obtain funding to expand the PCEAL-DCP to a large-scale trial to prove effectiveness in order to disseminate the PCEAL-DCP more broadly. The PCEAL-DCP can potentially be an educational resource for assisted living nursing staff to improve the quality of palliative care for residents with dementia.