ECHO Telementoring to improve palliative care

Grant Details

Applicant Name: Sriram Yennu, MD
Organization: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Country: United States of America

Project Name: ECHO Telementoring to Improve Quality

In low- and middle-income countries, patients are underserved for palliative care, and the need for symptom treatment exceeds the supply of palliative care specialists. It doesn't help that patients in these regions are often diagnosed when their cancer is at an advanced stage, so their symptoms are worse – and therefore, their need for palliative care is even greater. Based upon preliminary data, this grant seeks to enhance palliative care for the sickest patients in the countries of Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and India. Using an intervention called ECHO Palliative Care (ECHO-PCT), this study has the potential to overcome the logistical, educational, financial, and technological barriers that stand between providers in low- to middle-income countries and the provision of the highest quality care to patients with advanced cancer.

Dr. Sriram Yennu is a Tenured Associate Professor and attending physician in the Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has focused his research on outcomes in palliative care, specifically strategies to improve access and management of symptoms such as pain and cancer related fatigue. Dr. Yennu and his team will deliver ECHO sessions via Zoom, a secure, web-based videoconferencing platform that has been approved by MD Anderson, and proven to function well in low-resource settings.

The impact of the proposed study is immediate: the participating providers are gaining knowledge and skills. Moreover, newly trained healthcare professionals will continue to treat patients beyond the duration of the project.

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