Laura P. Gelfman, M.D.
Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute of the BrookdaleDepartment of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NewYork.
R. Sean Morrison,
Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute of the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.
National Palliative Care Research Center, New York, New York.
Background: Medical care for seriously ill patients has been acknowledged to be inadequate and multiple reports have called for increased investment in palliative medicine research.
Objective: To identify funding sources of palliative medicine research published form 2003–2005 and to examine National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding of palliative medicine research from 2001–2005.
Methods: We sought to identify United States publications related to adult palliative medicine research from 2003–2005 and their funding sources. We reviewed all articles published in the major palliative medicine journals and additionally, we reviewed all articles published in major medicine journals and relevant sub-specialty journals which were identified in Pub-Med using the key words “palliative care,”“end-of-life care,” “hospice” and “end-of-life.” From all identified articles, we abstracted all sources of funding detailed. We then compiled a list of U.S. palliative medicine researchers from 2001–2005 using the published first and last authors in the above article review,the editorial boards of palliative medicine journals, and other organizations. To examine NIH funding, we cross-matched this list of researchers against all NIH grants funded from 2001–2005.
Results: We identified 388 palliative medicine research articles and 2,197 investigators. Seventy-two percent of papers identified received extramural funding: 31% from the NIH, 51% from foundations, and 16% from other sources. Only 109 investigators received NIH funding and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and National Institute on Aging (NIA)funded 85% of all NIH awards.
Conclusions: Research funding, particularly federal funding, for palliative medicine research is inadequate to support improvements in care for the most seriously ill patients and their families.
Research Funding for Palliative Care