November 20, 2007

Case Western Reserve University's School of Nursing receives more than $2 million from NIH for new Center of Excellence

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Center will focus on "self-management," an important component of chronic disease management

The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), an arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to advance a major part of the national nursing research agenda: chronic disease self-management. The grant is supporting work from September 2007 through June 2012.

The funding will help to create the center called the Self-Management Advancement through Research and Translation, or SMART, which will have the mission of improving the health, health outcomes and quality of life of individuals with acute and chronic disease. These improvements will come through research, translation of findings into practice and research data to support policies for disease self-management, says Shirley M. Moore, Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing and associate dean for research at the Bolton School.

Columbia University's College of Nursing is the only other self-management center in the United States to receive funding this year.

The center will study self-management strategy. Self-management is a component of disease management, Moore says. In addition, the SMART center will take a cross-functional approach, with one focus being to look at how health care professionals, along with chronically ill individuals and their families can improve their well-being while reducing health care utilization rates and costs. This look will encompass a wide range of individual, systems and communities' approach to care.

"Most research in this arena in the past has focused on older populations, not younger," Moore says. "Chronic disease affects approximately 90 million Americans, and the breakdown from there is that, of the 90 million, 15 to 20 percent are children and 80 percent are older adults. The idea is that you -- and your family -- can take care of yourself while dealing with constant, different variables. Researchers in the SMART center also will explore the use of self-management strategies to prevent acute and chronic illnesses."

Today, self-management is a major part of the national nursing research agenda, with new discoveries being made in improving treatment regimens and enhancing the evidence base for care, Moore says.

Goals of the SMART center include:

  • Expand knowledge related to self-management through coordinated, interdisciplinary investigations of self-management in the context of the individual, family, organization and community;
  • Serve as a national leader in research and dissemination of research findings to the scientific community to expand knowledge related to self-management and provide new directions for research;
  • Diffuse knowledge into clinical practice and policy to enhance the use of self-management strategies to improve the health, function and quality of life of individuals; and
  • Prepare a critical mass of researchers to extend and disseminate this knowledge, contribute to the development of emerging biobehavioral (integration of biology and behavior) research methods, focus on critical issues related to health disparities among different populations and incorporate economic considerations as part of the research.

"Research has demonstrated that self-management strategies improve patient outcomes by helping patients understand their disease and its treatment, enhancing treatment adherence and providing patients with caregivers with the knowledge and skills needed to sustain and promote health," Moore says.

"The primary reason we've received funding for the SMART center is because there hasn't been much out there in terms of comprehensive research. I think that the NIH is looking specifically at creating more knowledge and maybe even building out predictive modeling so that systems can see who could or couldn't be a good candidate for self-management given their abilities and environment."

The SMART center is founded on an initial research base of 16 faculty from seven disciplines, including eight nursing faculty who have well-established programs of research that address self-management, encompassing all system levels. Other faculty researchers are from disciplines of medicine, sociology, social work and epidemiology at Case Western Reserve.

For more information, contact Laura Massie, 216-368-4442.

Posted by: Marsha Bragg, November 20, 2007 09:53 AM | News Topics: Administration, Administration, Faculty, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, HeadlinesMain, Research

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