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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Award recognizes CSON faculty member’s palliative care research

Connell News


CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (June 2014)

Stewart Bond, Ph.D., RN, AOCN, assistant professor in the William F. Connell School of Nursing, will participate in the Annual Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Retreat and Research Symposium in mid-October. The symposium was created to provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary palliative care researchers to come together to network, learn from each other, and discuss and develop new research.

Bond’s research project is a three-phase study entitled, "Palliative Care Professionals' Recognition of Delirium, Dementia, and Depression using Standardized Case Vignettes.”

Bond said the project would examine palliative care professionals’ abilities to recognize and differentiate between delirium, dementia, and depression and investigate factors associated with their recognition of these conditions.

“The timely and accurate diagnosis of delirium in the palliative care setting is challenging,” said Bond. “Members of the interdisciplinary palliative care team often fail to recognize delirium because of its variable presentation and fluctuating course.”

Bond said delirium is a serious, life-threatening neuropsychiatric syndrome that occurs frequently in patients with advanced illness. The study’s goal is to recognize delirium early and to initiate management strategies, including family education and support.

“The project will lead to the future development of an interdisciplinary training program to improve delirium recognition among palliative care professionals,” said Bond.

Bond’s research mentor for the program is William Pirl, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences at Massachusetts General Hospital, and associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) will provide part of the funding for participation in the symposium. HPNA was created to establish a network and support for nurses in the palliative care specialty. This year’s symposium event will be held in October at Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. 

An Aging Research Incentive Grant from the Boston College University Institute on Aging is funding the study.


-- O. Angela Bowser, Communications Specialist