Healthcare news

Ulster University granted £170,000 funding from Marie Curie for research project

'Friends and Carers', a wooden sculpture at the entrance to the Northern Ireland day hospice by sculptor Charlie Whinney

John Monaghan

THE Ulster University is to undertake research to help improve care for those living with a terminal illness deal with constipation.

The university has been granted £170,000 of funding from Marie Curie and will conduct research over the coming year in the charity's hospices in Belfast, Edinburgh and Solihull.

Patients with a terminal illness can often suffer from frequent constipation and the research aims to develop a pilot educational scheme to be tested by Marie Curie nurses, medics and pharmacists.

If successful, the charity may consider extending the scheme to hospices across the UK.

Ulster University Professor Sonja McIlfatrick said: "Despite best practice guidelines and international advice it is still not clear that healthcare professionals have enough awareness of the problem and there are variations of how constipation is assessed, diagnosed and managed in palliative care settings.

"Ulster University's research will be crucial in helping to educate healthcare professionals to overcome these barriers and ultimately provide good quality care for patients and their families."

Lisa Graham-Wisener, the research lead at the Marie Curie's Belfast Hospice, said the charity's hospices are "committed to improving management of what is a frequently reported and burdensome symptom for palliative care patients".

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