Susan Hickman, Ph.D

Susan Hickman, Ph.D photo

Senior Affiliate Faculty

hickman@iupui.edu

Dr. Hickman is a Professor in the Department of Community & Health Systems at the Indiana University School of Nursing. She received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and doctorate in psychology from the University of Kansas. Dr. Hickman completed fellowship training in geropsychology from the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and completed additional postdoctoral training in clinical ethics through the University of Washington School of Medicine Certificate Program in Health Care Ethics in 2001. Prior to relocating to Indiana in 2009, she was on faculty at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing and was a Senior Scholar in the Center for Ethics in Health Care. She is now a Senior Affiliate Faculty in the IU Health Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics, a Co-Director of the RESPECT (Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training) Signature Center at IUPUI, and a member of the IU Simon Cancer Center.
 
Dr. Hickman’s research focuses on decision-making and communication in the context of serious illness. Her work includes multiple funded studies on use of the POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Program in the nursing facility setting. The POLST is designed to document patient treatment preferences in the form of actionable medical orders that follow the patient throughout the healthcare system so that patient treatment preferences can be known and honored. Programs based on this model are currently being used or in development in approximately 30 states (http://www.polst.org/ ). In addition to being a founding member of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force (http://www.polst.org/), Dr. Hickman is a founding member of the Indiana Patient Preferences Coalition, the group responsible for developing and promoting the Indiana version called POST (Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment) (http://www.indianapost.org/ ). Dr. Hickman has been providing education and conducting research on the PO(L)ST model and decision-making since 1998 with funding from the National Institutes of Health, The Greenwall Foundation, The Walther Cancer Foundation, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the Journal of Palliative Medicine, and the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.

Education

  • 1992- B.A. Psychology, with honors- Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • 1994- M.A. Clinial Psychology- University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • 1997- Ph.D. Clinical Psychology- University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • 1997- Internship in Psychology- Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • 1998- Geropsychology Postdoctoral Fellow- Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, Oregon
  • 2001- Certificate in Health Care Ethics- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Representative Publications

  • 1. Hickman, S.E., Unroe, K.T., Ersek, M., Buente, B.B., & Sachs, G.A. (in press). An Interim Analysis of an Advance Care Planning Intervention in the Nursing Home Setting. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

  • 1. Unroe, K.T., Hickman, S. E., & Torke, A. M. (in press). Care consistency with documented care preferences: Methodologic considerations for implementing the Measuring What Matters indicator. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

  • Unroe, K.T., Sachs, G., Hickman, S.E., Stump, T., Tu, Wanzhu, Callahan, C. (2016). Effect of of hospice use on costs for long-stay nursing home decedents. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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  • Smith-Howell, E., Hickman, S.E., Meghani, S.H., Perkins, S.M., & Rawl, S.M. (2016). End-of-life decision-making and communication of bereaved family members of African Americans with serious illness. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 19, 174-182.

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  • Kim, H., Ersek, M., Bradway, C., & Hickman, S.E. (2015). Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment for nursing home residents with dementia. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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  • *†Hickman, S.E., Keevern, E., & Hammes, B.J. (2015). Use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in the Clinical Setting: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63, 341-350. (PMC Journal – In Process) 

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  • Unroe, K., Nazir, A., Holtz, L.R., Maurer, H., Miller, E., Hickman, S.E., LaMantia, M.A., Bennett, M., Arling, G., Sachs, G.A. (2015). The OPTIMISTIC Approach: Preliminary data of the implementation of a CMS nursing facility demonstration project. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63, 165-169.

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  • Unroe, K.T., Sachs, G.A., Dennis, M.E., Hickman, S.E., Stump, T.E., Wanzhu, T., Callahan, C.M. (2015). Hospice use among nursing home and non-nursing home patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30, 193-198.

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  • †Hickman, S.E., Nelson, C.A., Smith-Howell, E., & Hammes, B.J. (2014). Use of the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Program for Patients Being Discharged from the Hospital to the Nursing Facility. Journal of Palliative Medicine,17, 43-49.

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  • Cartwright, J.C., Hickman, S.E., Nelson, C.A., & Knafl, K. (2013). Investigators successful strategies for working with Institutional Review Boards. Research in Nursing and Health, 36, 478-486.

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  • Unroe, K.T., Sachs, G., Hickman, S.E., Stump, T.E., Wanzhu, T, & Callahan, C.M. (2013). Hospice use among nursing home patients. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 14, 254-259.

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  • Hickman, S.E., Cartwright, J.C., Nelson, C.A., & Knafl, K. (2012). Compassion and Vigilance: Investigators’ Strategies to Manage Ethical Concerns in Palliative and End-of-Life Research. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 15, 880-889

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