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NIH convenes State-of-the-Sceince Conference on Improving End-of-Life Care

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a State-of-the-Science Conference on Improving End-of-Life Care, December 6-8, 2004 at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. A press briefing will be held at the close of the conference, at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8.

Improvements in medical science and health care have gradually changed the nature of dying. Death is no longer likely to be the sudden result of infection or injury, but is now more likely to occur slowly, in old age, and at the end of a period of chronic illness. As a result, a demographic shift is beginning to occur that will include an increase in the number of seriously ill and dying people at the same time that the number of caregivers decreases. These ongoing changes present a number of quality-of-care issues that will impact the healthcare system.

This conference will bring together researchers and practitioners in various aspects of end-of-life care and research, to examine and synthesize the scientific evidence available to answer five key conference questions:

  • What defines the transition to end of life?
  • What outcome variables are important indicators of the quality of the end of life experience for the dying person and for the surviving loved ones?
  • What patient, family, and health care system factors are associated with improved or worsened outcomes?
  • What processes and interventions are associated with improved or worsened outcomes?
  • What are future research directions for improving end-of-life care? During the first day and part of the second day of the conference, experts will present the latest findings in end-of-life research to an independent panel. The panel will then meet in executive session to weigh the evidence before them and prepare its statement assessing the state of the science. The panel will present its draft statement for public comment at 9:00 a.m. on Wedne
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  • Contact: Kelli Marciel
    marcielk@od.nih.gov
    301-496-4819
    NIH/Office of the Director
    29-Nov-2004


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