IAHPC Traveling Scholar's Report - Uruguay
The purpose of my visit to Montevideo, Uruguay was to attend and present a paper at the 2008 Quality of Life conference. My presentation was “The impact of pain and other symptoms on the Quality of Life of ambulatory HIV/AIDS patients in Uganda.” I believe health outcomes research should be promoted in palliative care since key care options are centred on this. It was a great opportunity for those of us in Africa to reach out to such an audience. It also provided a great advocacy tool to promote the need for palliative care in HIV care. The importance of palliative care is supported by studies showing a positive effect on pain, symptoms and quality of life. The IAHPC traveling scholarship made my dream of linking up with experts in the field a reality. I made connections that will help improve my skills as a palliative care researcher. I enjoyed the sessions by Peter Fayers, an expert in quality of life data analysis, and Prof. Charles Cleeland, who is famous for his brief pain inventory. Their presentations equipped me with the skills to handle health outcomes measurement and analysis.
I learned about rigorous methodologies in conducting health outcomes research. I am currently using my skills to design studies for possible funding. I also attended the students’ subcommittee of the next conference. I am working with one of the local universities in my area to sensitize students to what health outcomes research is all about and why it is important in health care.
This was a great learning opportunity for me. This experience has given me what I could not have learned through reading or investigation. I would like to thank The African Palliative Care Association, ISOQOL, Liliana DeLima and the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, for providing the support that made this possible.