Palliative care can provide comfort and support for individuals at the end of life who have a wound. Such people frequently face distressing symptoms that profoundly affect quality of life. Wound care research on feasible comfort measures is minimal to address physical symptoms such as pain, odor, and wound drainage (exudate) that often accompany wounds that develop at the end of life. We propose to study a wound comfort intervention comprised of a low-cost wound powder, RGN107 that can be sprinkled on wounds using a squirt bottle. After several applications, the powder forms a """"""""crust"""""""" seal border over the wound, protecting it from dressings that can stick to the fragile wound bed and preventing manipulation from wiping, both of which can cause pain. The goal is to augment usual wound care, adding to the comfort and quality of life of dying individuals as well as their caregivers. No previous studies have determined the feasibility of using a specially developed wound powder to examine adherence to a wound comfort protocol for individuals receiving hospice care. Our pilot data indicate that RGN107 is nontoxic, and efficacious, providing substantial relief from pain and exudate from venous leg ulcers. We propose to extend these findings to a highly challenging population of hospice enrollees with wounds such as pressure ulcers. Approximately 50% of the individuals who develop wounds have tried various methods to manage symptoms, but continue to suffer from uncontrolled wound pain, odor, and exudate. The purpose of our study is to examine the feasibility of an enhanced wound care approach and examine monitoring of adherence, measures of signals of efficacy in the control of symptoms, and impact on quality of life after use of RGN107. This R21 will employ a comparative group design to determine feasibility in two models of a hospice organization, home based care and inpatient hospice that will target 50 individuals with life expectancies more than 1 month, but less than 6 months. We will tailor the training for each model recognizing the variability of caregivers. In the inpatient setting, training will be delivered over the three shifts and over several days. In the home, the registered nurses that plan wound care, along with associated agency and family caregivers will be instructed in the home setting over several training sessions. A DVD of wound procedures will be used to reinforce learning. Our team will monitor adherence by fidelity processes such as making regular visits to assess caregiver performance, evaluating the wound itself, and reviewing documentation. Data collection sources include project records, patient/provider logs, surveys and interviews conducted at three time points, baseline, and then weeks 2 and 4. We hypothesize our intervention will enhance comfort care and quality of life at the end of life for both the patient and the caregiver.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this feasibility trial is to study a comfort intervention, a wound powder, RGN107, applied to wounds during dressing changes for individuals at the end of life who receive hospice care in inpatient/residential or home-based settings. Adherence, an integral part of the feasibility trial, will be monitored using fidelity strategies and secondary aims will determine signals of efficacy on wound pain, odor, drainage, and quality of life. The long-term objective is to develop an acceptable, efficacious, and effectiv clinical practice intervention to promote comfort and improve quality of life in individuals with open, painful, non-healing wounds at the end of life as well as the quality of life of their caregivers within the context of the hospice setting. !

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences Study Section (NRCS)
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Tully, Lois
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Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Nursing
United States
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