Media Advisory

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Proceedings of NIH Conference on Improving End-of-Life-Care Published


 The proceedings of a National Institutes of Health “State-of-the-Science on Improving End-of-Life Care” have been published in a special supplement (Volume 8, Supplement 1, 2005) of the Journal of Palliative Medicine. The journal is a peer-reviewed publication of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and the official journal of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) were the primary sponsors of the conference. The NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Improving End of Life Care, held December 6-8, 2004, brought together prominent clinicians and researchers with expertise in a broad range of topics related to end-of-life care.


In an introduction to the proceedings Patricia A. Grady, Ph.D., RN, Director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, points to “a growing public concern about the quality of care in the US health care system for persons at the end of life.” The conference identified “gaps in our understanding,” Dr. Grady writes. The dramatic increase in the number of older adults facing the need for end-of-life care warrants development of a research infrastructure and resources to enhance that care for patients and their families. These experts synthesized research on key issues: defining end of life, understanding major considerations related to end of life care, and developing interventions that positively impact symptom management, social interactions, spirituality, and caregiver support. An independent panel evaluated the expert testimony and identified critical directions for future research. NINR is the designated lead institute in studying end of life.


The proceedings of the Conference are now available in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, a bimonthly print and online publication that reports on the clinical, educational, legal, and ethical aspects of care for seriously ill and dying patients.


The supplement is available free online at Additional information regarding the Conference and the Proceedings can be obtained from Lanny Newman, Public Affairs Officer, NINR, 301-496-0209,

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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