Ashley Leak Bryant awarded NIH grant to plan palliative care study for patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Congratulations to Ashley Leak Bryant, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, FAAN, on being awarded nearly $389K from the National Institute of Nursing Research to plan and develop her study “A Nurse-Led Palliative and Supportive Care Intervention for Newly Diagnosed Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”

An experienced oncology clinician, Dr. Bryant has cared for many patients diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Her observations while working with these patients have driven her to focus her research on improving their symptom experience and lessening their functional decline, ultimately improving their overall quality of life.

AML is a disease of older adults, with a median age at diagnosis of 68 and five-year survival rate of 28%. Patients diagnosed with AML depend on their caregivers for support and care from home, but often caregivers lack the knowledge and support required to manage the older adults’ serious illness. This funding will be used to plan and develop a nurse-led palliative and collaborative care (PACT) study, which will prepare caregivers to deliver palliative and supportive care from home.

Unlike previous AML intervention studies, Bryant and her team will use a model—the Adaptive Leadership Framework for Chronic Illness — designed to guide patients in improving their quality of life through the development of self-management skills to manage their symptoms and to optimize function.

“This study will contribute much-needed knowledge about how to activate adults with acute myeloid leukemia treatment to manage symptoms and engage in activities to reduce functional decline leading to better quality of life and greater likelihood of returning home after treatment,” explains Dr. Bryant.

If the study demonstrates improved quality of life for seriously ill older adults with AML, the PACT intervention has potential for widespread dissemination. Knowledge gained in this study will inform caregiver intervention development as a future step in this research. The two-year planning project will run through February 28, 2023, and will include the team members listed below.

Principal Investigator — Ashley Leak Bryant, UNC School of Nursing
Co-Investigators — Ruth Anderson and Todd Schwartz, UNC School of Nursing
Laura Hanson, UNC School of Medicine
Susan Coppola, UNC Allied Health
Daniel Richardson, UNC School of Medicine
Consultant — Makenzi Pergolotti

National Institute of Nursing Research, Award Number R34NR019131-01A1, Bryant (PI) 3/9/21-2/28/23, Funding: $388,750, “A Nurse-Led Palliative and Supportive Care Intervention for Newly Diagnosed Adults with Acute Myeloid Leukemia”