Dr Slavica Kochovska PhD, MA (Hons), BA (Hons) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC), at IMPACCT (Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care through Clinical Research and Translation), Univerity of Technology Sydney. Her research program focuses on improving the science of informed consent in palliative care and developing novel methods to improve the quality of communication in clinical settings. A linguist by background, Dr Kochovska has extensive experience in conducting systematic reviews and commissioned reports to build the evidence base, policy and practice in the service provision of palliative, cancer and delirium care. She has experience in healthcare project management, quality improvement and implementation science. Her research interests include health literacy in palliative care and consumer involvement in health research. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Highest Honours) (University of Auckland, NZ, 1998), Masters in Linguistics (First Class Honours) (University of Auckalnd, NZ, 2000) and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Linguistics (Rutgers University, USA, 2010).
- ERASMUS Staff Mobility Grant, The European Commission, 2011.
- AdFutura International Mobility Grant, Development and Scholarship Fund, Slovenia, 2008-2009.
- Rutgers University Excellence Fellowship, The Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University, 2002-2004.
- Faculty of Arts Masters Scholarship, Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland, 1998-2000.
- Senior Scholarship in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Auckland, 1998.
- Senior Scholarship in Russian, Department of Russian and Slavic Languages, University of Auckand, 1997.
- Polish Studies Trust Prize, Department of Russian and Slavic Languages, University of Auckand, 1997.
- Annual Prize in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, Universtiy of Auckland, 1996.
- Palliative care
- Chronic breathlessness
- Informed consent in clinical research
- Linguistics and health communication
- Health literacy in palliative care
- Palliative care
- Research methods
Hosie, A, Phillips, J, Lam, L, Kochovska, S, Noble, B, Brassil, M, Kurrle, SE, Cumming, A, Caplan, GA, Chye, R, Le, B, Ely, EW, Lawlor, PG, Bush, SH, Davis, JM, Lovell, M, Brown, L, Fazekas, B, Cheah, SL, Edwards, L & Agar, M 2019, 'Multicomponent non-pharmacological intervention to prevent delirium for hospitalised people with advanced cancer: study protocol for a phase II cluster randomised controlled trial.', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. e026177-e026177.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
INTRODUCTION:Delirium is a significant medical complication for hospitalised patients. Up to one-third of delirium episodes are preventable in older inpatients through non-pharmacological strategies that support essential human needs, such as physical and cognitive activity, sleep, hydration, vision and hearing. We hypothesised that a multicomponent intervention similarly may decrease delirium incidence, and/or its duration and severity, in inpatients with advanced cancer. Prior to a phase III trial, we aimed to determine if a multicomponent non-pharmacological delirium prevention intervention is feasible and acceptable for this specific inpatient group. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:The study is a phase II cluster randomised wait-listed controlled trial involving inpatients with advanced cancer at four Australian palliative care inpatient units. Intervention sites will introduce delirium screening, diagnostic assessment and a multicomponent delirium prevention intervention with six domains of care: preserving natural sleep; maintaining optimal vision and hearing; optimising hydration; promoting communication, orientation and cognition; optimising mobility; and promoting family partnership. Interdisciplinary teams will tailor intervention delivery to each site and to patient need. Control sites will first introduce only delirium screening and diagnosis, later implementing the intervention, modified according to initial results. The primary outcome is adherence to the intervention during the first seven days of admission, measured for 40 consecutively admitted eligible patients. Secondary outcomes relate to fidelity and feasibility, acceptability and sustainability of the study intervention, processes and measures in this patient population, using quantitative and qualitative measures. Delirium incidence and severity will be measured to inform power calculations for a future phase III trial. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethical approval was obtained for all four sites. Trial r...
Kelly, AJ, Luckett, T, Clayton, JM, Gabb, L, Kochovska, S & Agar, M 2019, 'Advance care planning in different settings for people with dementia: A systematic review and narrative synthesis', Palliative and Supportive Care.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Cambridge University Press. BackgroundAdvance care planning (ACP) is identified as being an important process for people with dementia. However, its efficacy for improving outcomes relevant for the individual, carers and the health system has yet to be established.AimWe conducted a systematic review with the aims of testing the efficacy of ACP for people with dementia and describing the settings and population in which it has been evaluated.MethodsA search was completed of electronic databases in August 2016. Articles were included if they described interventions aimed at increasing planning for future care of people with dementia, delivered to the person with dementia, their carers and/or health professionals.ResultsOf 4,772 articles returned by searches, 30 met the inclusion criteria, testing interventions in nursing home (n= 16) community (n = 10) and acute care (n = 4) settings. Only 18 interventions directly involved the person with dementia, with the remainder focusing on surrogate decision-makers. In all settings, interventions were found effective in increasing ACP practice. In nursing homes, ACP was found to influence care and increase the concordance between end of life wishes and care provided. Interventions in the community were found to improve patient quality of life but were not shown to influence concordance.ConclusionFuture research should focus on ways to involve people with dementia in decision-making through supported means.
Kochovska, S, Luckett, T, Agar, M & Phillips, JL 2018, 'Impacts on employment, finances, and lifestyle for working age people facing an expected premature death: A systematic review.', Palliative and Supportive Care, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 347-364.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The working ages (25-65 years) are a period when most people have significant work, financial, and family responsibilities. A small proportion of working age people will face an expected premature death from cancer or other life-limiting illness. Understanding the impact an expected premature death has on this population is important for informing support. The current study set out to summarize research describing the effects that facing an expected premature death has on employment, financial, and lifestyle of working age people and their families.A systematic review using narrative synthesis approach. Four electronic databases were searched in July 2016 for peer-reviewed, English language studies focusing on the financial, employment, and lifestyle concerns of working age adults living with an advanced life-limiting illness and/or their carers and/or children.Fifteen quantitative and 12 qualitative studies were included. Two-thirds (n = 18) were focused on cancer. All studies identified adverse effects on workforce participation, finances, and lifestyle. Many patients were forced to work less or give up work/retire early because of symptoms and reduced functioning. In addition to treatment costs, patients and families were also faced with child care, travel, and home/car modification costs. Being younger was associated with greater employment and financial burden, whereas having children was associated with lower functional well-being. Changes in family roles were identified as challenging regardless of diagnosis, whereas maintaining normalcy and creating stability was seen as a priority by parents with advanced cancer. This review is limited by the smaller number of studies focussing on the needs of working age people with nonmalignant disease. Significance of results Working age people facing an expected premature death and their families have significant unmet financial, employment, and lifestyle needs. Comparing and contrasting their severity, timing, and p...
DiGiacomo, M, Kochovska, S, Cahill, P, Virdun, C & Phillips, J 2018, 'Family-focused care span' in MacLeod, R & Van den Block, L (eds), Textbook of Palliative Care, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A family-focused care approach in palliative
care recognizes the fundamental role of families
in contributing to the care of people with
life-limiting conditions. It is essential that
healthcare providers develop understanding
of families' needs and the skills to collaborate
effectively with families caring for people at
the end of their lives. This chapter introduces
the concept and components of family-focused
palliative care. It continues with a discussion
of what patients and families perceive to be
the most important aspects of end-of-life care.
This chapter provides information to assist
healthcare providers who work with people
with life-limiting conditions and their families
in providing family-focused care and to
identify gaps and challenges to providing
Hosie, A, Phillips, J, Lam, L, Kochovska, S, Brassil, M, Noble, B, Kurrle, S, Cumming, A, Caplan, G, Chye, R, Le, B, Ely, EW, Lawlor, P, Bush, S, Davis, JM, Lovell, M, Brown, L, Fazekas, B, Cheah, SL, Edwards, L & Agar, M 2018, 'A phase II cluster randomised controlled trial of a multicomponent non-pharmacological intervention to prevent delirium for in-patients with advanced cancer (The PRESERVE pilot study)', ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, WILEY, pp. 166-166.