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University of Iowa News Release


July 8, 2009

Care centers work with UI researchers to improve elder care

Long-term care facilities in north central Iowa have teamed with nurse researchers at the University of Iowa College of Nursing to address two common issues for older adults in health care facilities: pain management and incontinence.

"Despite the availability of evidence-based practice protocols that could dramatically improve care and outcomes, the use of these protocols in care facilities is sparse," says Janet Specht, Ph.D., a UI gerontological nursing professor.

With this project, Specht and colleagues Paula Mobily, Ph.D., and Ann Bossen will determine the best educational techniques to help registered nurses and certified nurse aides use the most current knowledge to care for elders with pain and urinary incontinence.

Selected staff at the facilities are assisting in coordinating efforts. Other staff were chosen to lead efforts focusing on concerns of maintaining urine control.

A third team of staff also learned how to lead efforts to improve pain management by looking at non-drug treatment for managing pain and identifying and treating pain in older adults, especially those with Alzheimer's disease. All staff will be involved in the project, through assisting with surveys and integrating the changes into the care they provide for residents.

"This research is significant because of the urgent need in long-term care facilities to improve outcomes for elderly residents with incontinence and pain," Mobily said.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Participating care facilities and their locations are listed below:

ACKLEY: Presbyterian Village

ALLISON: Allison Health Care Center

BELMOND: Belmond Health Care Center

CLARKSVILLE: Community Nursing Home

CLARION: Careage of Clarion

GRINNELL: Mayflower Homes, Inc., St. Francis Manor

GRUNDY CENTER: Grundy County Memorial Health Center, long term care

HAMPTON: Franklin General Hospital Care Center, Hampton Health Care Center

HUBBARD: Hubbard Care Center

IOWA FALLS: Heritage Care Center, Scenic Living Communities

MARSHALLTOWN: Grandview Heights Care Center, Villa del Sol

NEVEDA: Rolling Green Village

NEWTON: Heritage Manor Care Center

REINBECK: Parkview Manor

SHEFFIELD: Sheffield Care Center

TOLEDO: Carrington Place Care Center

TRAER: Sunrise Hill Care & Rehab Center

WEBSTER CITY: Crestview Senior Living, Southfield Wellness Communities

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Nursing, 101 Nursing Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Leslie Gannon, University of Iowa College of Nursing, 319-335-7003,; Ann Bossen, 319-335-7136,