Katrin Conway, Managing Director, Mapi Research Trust

As many readers of the PRO Newsletter know, our colleague and friend Catherine Pouget died on July 3, 2001, at the age of 31, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. During the last year of her life she suffered greatly, not only from the effects of her disease and its treatment, but even more from the lack of understanding and compassion by the medical staff that treated her.
In her memory, Mapi has for several years offered an award to support the design and implementation of projects intended to improve the quality of life of those who are terminally ill.
Appropriate research projects had to include studies of the impact of interventions on the quality of life of the terminally ill and studies of measures and determinants of quality of life and patients’ and/or families’ perspectives about the quality of care and/or life experiences. The maximum amount that was funded was $10,000 for work to be completed over a one-to-two-year period. Since 2009, the emphasis of the award changed to be more specific and more relevant to its original intention: to improve the quality of the interactions between patients and those involved in their treatment, rather than simply on their general quality of life. At the same time, the award was no longer limited to projects with a scientific basis, in order to encourage those who may not have formal scientific training to make the best use of their experiences in improving relationships between patients who are terminally ill and those responsible for their care and treatment.
The Catherine Pouget Award (CPA) was a great success and we are proud to recognize, below, the award winners from 2002 to 2012. For more information about the award and to learn how to participate in future competitions, please visit www.mapi-trust.org/about-us/catherine-pouget-award/
The first Catherine Pouget Award, in 2002, went to Colleen J. Nordstrom. This doctor with the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, Australia, entitled her research project “The Influence of Spirituality on QOL and Pain in the Terminally Ill: An Exploratory Study of the Patient Perspective to Develop an Empirical Model.” She sought to determine how dying patients understand and define the term “spirituality,” in order to develop a model that would offer both clinical and conceptual explanatory capacities. The significance of her research was in the clinical contribution that may result in improved quality of life, and potentially decreased pain, by identifying aspects of spirituality that may be employed as therapeutic interventions.
George Demiris, a researcher in Health Management and Informatics at the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri, won the 2003 Catherine Pouget Award. He called his project “The Missouri Telehospice” with an objective of determining whether the use of videophone technology in hospice care might impact patients’ satisfaction with delivered care, caregiver burden, crisis prevention rates, and cost of care. His study examined the improvement of the patients’ quality of life and the caregivers’ burden by a reduction of caregivers’ anxiety in crisis situations where an immediate “visual” assessment of the dying patient by medical staff is required (e.g., during the night), by enabling non-medical staff (e.g., social workers or nurses’ aides) to consult with a nurse or doctor using video technology.
For 2004, the CPA went to Alex Hakuzimana of the National University of Rwanda in Butare, Rwanda. He titled his project “Quality of life outcomes in adults living with HIV/AIDS at late stage.” His objectives were threefold: (a) to evaluate the psychometric properties of the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life assessment questionnaire for HIV infection, short form (WHOQOL-HIV BREF) in Rwandan adults at the late stage of the infection; (b) to compare clinical variables with quality-of-life dimensions at four time points; and (c) to identify contributing factors in the improvement and/or worsening of the patients’ quality of life.
Michael Echteld, a Dutch researcher with Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Erasmus Centre in the Netherlands, won the 2005 Catherine Pouget Award. His project was on applying an individualized quality-of-life intervention to advanced cancer patients admitted to a unit of palliative care and symptom control. The main objective of his study was to achieve optimal quality of life in patients admitted to a hospital-based unit for palliative care and symptom control. A secondary aim was the dissemination of the findings and implementation of aspects of individual quality-of-life assessment in care centers for terminally ill patients.
For 2006, Adil Ahmed of the Gastroenterology Department of the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke, UK, was the recipient of the 2006 CPA. His project, entitled “Development and evaluation of a decision aid for shared decision-making in patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET’s) using decision analysis techniques.” In his study he wanted to increase patient involvement in the decision-making process, to individualize therapy by providing patient-specific risk analysis, and finally standardize clinical decision making in patients with NET’s with individual patients getting the best care per the available evidence.
Dr. Ardith Z. Doorenbos, currently a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, earned the 2007 Catherine Pouget Award with her project “Testing Web-based Cultural Competence Training for Hospice Providers.” The principal objective of her study was to evaluate the effect of a web-based cultural-competence communication intervention on the hospice provider’s own cultural competence. Secondarily, she wanted to look at the acceptability and feasibility of a longitudinal web-based cultural-competence intervention for hospice providers.
Lourdes Marie S. Tejero, PhD, RN, and Dean at the University of the Philippines College of Nursing, was awarded the CPA for her study “Nurse-Patient Dyads: Linking Nurse & Patient Characteristics to Outcomes.” The main goal of Dr. Tejero’s research was to test the proposed theory asserting that the nurse-patient dyad mediates between nurse-patient characteristics and patient satisfaction. Moreover, she felt her study would also validate the tool for categorizing nurse-patient dyads. Specifically, Dr. Tejero’s study aimed to (a) validate the Nurse-Patient Dyad Instrument (NPDI); (b) determine the intermediary effect of nurse-patient dyads between nurse-patient characteristics and patient satisfaction through path analysis; (c) determine the relationship between nurse-patient characteristics and patient satisfaction and compare it with the mediating effect of nurse-patient dyads; and (d) describe further the different dyads in terms of factors affecting their formation and development based on the experiences of nurses and patients through a qualitative research approach.
In 2009, we named Shyla Bauer of South East Palliative Care in Kallista, near Melbourne, Australia, the winner of the Catherine Pouget Award. Her project went by the poetic title “To Live, To Love, and To Leave a Legacy.” Her arts-based, public-health palliative-care project was to normalize the process of dying in communities around the world through the sharing of images and short narratives of palliative patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals from a variety of countries. The method she used was to travel to a variety of counties (both developed and third world), visit local palliative-care teams and talk with and photograph the patients, their caregivers, and the medical staff about their experiences in life and living with or caring for those with a palliative illness.
Koen Pardon, MSc, PhD, is a psychologist and postdoctoral researcher with the End-of-life Care Research Group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Ghent University in Belgium. He earned the 2010 prize for his study “Development of an Intervention to Improve Physician-Patient Communication in Patients with Advanced Cancer.” The first goal of his study was to discuss a range of communication problems with oncologists and to list their suggestions for improvement. The second goal was to develop a specific intervention that would improve physician-patient communication at the end of life and, more specifically, information giving and patient participation in medical decision-making in correspondence with the patients’ preferences.
For 2011, we recognized Lori P. Montross, Ph.D., a research psychologist at The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice in California for her project “Use of Personal Ritual among Hospice Staff Following the Death of a Patient.” This study examined the use of personally meaningful rituals among hospice staff and volunteers as they coped with the deaths of their patients. Hospice staff were asked to describe their ritual practices, to elaborate on how they created such practices, and to express how these practices impacted their work, with particular attention to whether these rituals enhanced the meaning or “compassion satisfaction” at work.
Kerry Davies, a research coordinator at the Helen & Douglas House in Oxford, England, was the recipient of the 2012 Catherine Pouget Award. She named his project “Reaching Out/Reaching In: Exploring the Impact of Accessible Video Conferencing on the Lives of Those Using a Hospice for Young Adults.” Specifically, through her project she explored the potential value of accessible video conferencing to enable young people with life-limiting conditions to more easily and positively be in touch with hospice staff at the Helen & Douglas House. The aim was to develop guests’ capacity to take control over the time and nature of contacts between stays, and therefore improve their quality of care and quality of life.
For more information about the Award and to learn how to participate in future competitions, please visit here