December 2, 2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Two University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) professors have received a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to perform a cost analysis of quality-of-life interventions for breast-cancer survivors.
School of Health Professions and School of Nursing Professor Patrick McNees, Ph.D., FAAN, and School of Nursing Professor Karen Meneses, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, received the award for the NINR project, "Cost-Effectiveness Analysis into Factors Affecting Quality of Life Health Related Research." It is designed to determine the cost-effectiveness of a telephone-supported intervention for rural breast-cancer survivors developed by Meneses and colleagues under a previous grant.
The project was created to continue care after breast-cancer treatment for women living in rural areas who are vulnerable to being lost in transition - particularly from treatment to survivorship - because they lack access to health-care providers and services.
"For women who live in rural areas, it may take an hour or hour-and-a half to travel to a regional cancer center," Meneses said. "They also may have very few support groups because they have few cancer societies or cancer centers to support them in their immediate area. It is important to help these women because no matter how much we extend lives through our medical breakthroughs, we must work daily to help them maintain their quality of life and enjoy their lives beyond diagnosis and learn from that."
Meneses said this study of cost-effectiveness will enable researchers to maximize breast-cancer survivor's quality of life with the lowest reasonable cost and the best outcomes and enable survivors to have competent, effective and informed care beyond cancer treatment.
"Ideally, the results of this study will allow better determinations of the costs of maintaining the intervention as a service and the specific effects on breast-cancer survivors," McNees said. "It also will provide cost-effectiveness data to effectively educate and inform consumers and health-care providers.
"Innovation such as this is necessary if the consequences of survivor neglect are to be avoided," he said.
About the UAB School of Nursing
Building on a century of nursing education on the UAB campus, the UAB School of Nursing prepares nurse leaders to excel as clinicians, researchers and educators and advances knowledge and delivery of high-quality health care in Alabama and worldwide. The school offers leading-edge bachelor, graduate and doctoral programs and offers students the opportunity to learn with faculty and student teams across health disciplines at UAB.
About the UAB School of Health Professions
The UAB School of Health Professions is one of the nation's largest schools of health professions, with more than 1,500 students enrolled in 21 academic programs. Several graduate programs are nationally ranked, and the school is rated No. 1 among all allied health schools for National Institutes of Health funding. The school offers degree programs in clinical and diagnostic sciences, health services administration, nutrition sciences, occupational therapy and physical therapy.