Research - Care Dimensions


About Us

Care Dimensions encourages and supports organizational involvement in research initiatives that lead to improved quality of care provided to patients and families through the contribution of new knowledge.

Director of Research Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, GNP-BC, leads our research initiatives and is assisted by Research Associates Olivia Wood, MSW, and Caroline Gettens, BS. If you are an investigator interested in conducting your research at our agency, please email: to begin the application process.

Current Collaborative Work

The Hospice Advanced Dementia Symptom Management and Quality of Life Trial (HAS-QOL): R33 Phase
This study focuses on quality improvement via the implementation of Aliviado Dementia Care, a dementia symptom management and quality of life training for members of the hospice interdisciplinary team. A total of 25 hospice agencies will be participating in this study across the United States. The goal is to improve quality of care for the person living with dementia and their caregiver, reduce antipsychotic medication use, and increase caregiver satisfaction.

Principal Investigator: Abraham (Ab) Brody, PhD, RN, FAAN
Funding Sponsor: National Institutes of Health
Timeline: January 2020-December 2023

Standardized Patient-Centered Medication Review (SPECTORx) in Home Hospice

This is an NIH-funded intervention study that focuses on patient-centered medication review, family caregiver support for medication management, and standardizing approaches to appropriate medication use. This intervention provides evidence-based tools to equip hospice staff with the latest information about how to regularly review, simplify, and align patients’ medications to their goals of care as end of life approaches.

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Tjia; MD, MSCE, FAAHPM, Associate Professor of Medicine and Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Co-Investigators: Margaret Clayton, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, Professor, University of Utah College of Nursing; Susan DeSanto-Madeya, PhD, APRN -CNS, FAAN, Associate Clinical Professor, Boston College, Wm. F. Connell School of Nursing 
Funding Sponsor: National Institute of Aging
Timeline: Winter 2020-Spring 2021


Interactions Among Adolescents with a Parent in Hospice and the Hospice Care Team

This study aims to develop evidenced-based approaches to supporting adolescents with a parent or guardian receiving hospice or palliative care. Eligible participants include young adults aged 18-30 who experienced a parental death during adolescence (ages 12-17) whose parent was receiving hospice or palliative care at the time of their death. Participants complete a Coping and Communication Questionnaire and a virtual 45-60 minute interview about their experience. All participants receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card after the completion of the interview. For questions or to enroll in the study, please contact Kristen DeBois (Project Coordinator) at

Principal Investigator: Denice Sheehan, Interim Dean and Professor Kent State University College of Nursing
Funding Sponsor: National Institute of Nursing Research
Timeline:  Spring 2020 – Spring 2022

Current Care Dimensions Donor-Funded Quality Improvement Projects

Caregiver Connection

Caregiver Connection is an innovative caregiver support program utilizing a hospice patient mobile-health application (TapCloud®) adapted for family caregivers to enhance communication and support unmet caregiver needs, particularly for those most vulnerable socio-economically.

Funding Sponsor:  The Alex & Rita Hillman Foundation
Timeline:  Summer 2020-Summer 2021

Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 100 communities in Massachusetts.