KOMAL MURALI »
Jonas Scholar Directory
My experience in caring for seriously ill older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCC)–as a clinician and educator in the critical care arena–has given me invaluable insight into the palliative care needs of this complex population. This experience has made clear that effective strategies in reducing symptom burden, improving health-related quality of life, and mitigating frequent healthcare utilization and rising healthcare costs are necessary. Palliative care focuses on symptom relief to improve the quality of life of seriously ill individuals. The evidence about palliative care for non-cancer seriously ill older adults with MCC requires further exploration and translating research findings into evidence-based best practices to help improve care for this population is imperative. While symptom alleviation and health-related quality of life in cancer patients can be improved via palliative care, there are clear gaps in translating this evidence to meet the needs of non-cancer, seriously ill older adults with MCC. In the next two years, I aim to compare these two distinct groups in terms of demographics, symptom profile, quality of life, healthcare utilization and cost. My hope is that my dissertation research will garner evidence upon which to ultimately create targeted palliative care approaches to improve symptom burden and quality of life, and reduce healthcare utilization and costs. With the help if the NYU CTSI and Jonas Scholarship, along with my research experiences in the PhD program at NYU Meyers, I hope to complete my dissertation and pursue an academic career as a nurse research scientist.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation: Symptom Profile, Health-Related Quality of Life, and healthcare utilization of Seriously Ill Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions Receiving Palliative Care: The purpose of this proposed exploratory secondary data analysis is to describe demographics, clinical characteristics, symptom burden, health-related quality of life, and health care utilization and costs of a) non-cancer seriously ill older adults with MCC over the age of 65 who have received palliative care during an index inpatient hospital stay compared to b) seriously ill older adults with cancer who have received palliative care during an indexed inpatient hospital stay. Data will be extracted from electronic medical records and include all palliative care patients seen within the last 3 years in two different tertiary care settings with mature palliative care programs. After identifying the two populations of interest in the electronic medical records, corresponding Medicare A claims data will be analyzed to conduct cost analyses.