IAHPC Traveling Scholars Reports
A Research “Summer School” on End of Life Care, International Observatory in End of Life Care, Lancaster University, UK
Jorge Eisenchlas, MD
Professor of Palliative Care and Research Methodology
Universidad del Salvador
Buenos Aires , Argentina
No doubt, the “Summer School” as it was renamed by the attendants has constituted a magnificent resource to learn diverse issues about social research in Palliative Care. During the first week, a deep view about the diverse social research methodologies to be used when investigating end of life issues was approached. The lectures were exceptional and were under the leadership of Prof. David Clark. A second hard-working week followed and allowed me to prepare a research proposal under close supervision from experienced and skilled researchers. This “putting the hands-on” made me reflect about the wider world of qualitative research and how necessary it is to delve under the surface of common issues. The opportunity to share diverse points of view with colleagues from other parts of the world was most enriching. Having been immersed in the qualitative world during these weeks, made me realize the need to pay much more attention to issues often neglected by the quantitative view and gave me a basis upon which to develop more creative research models.
Being part of the palliative care movement from a country with a long palliative care tradition, but with scarce palliative care research initiatives, the attendance at the Summer School provided me with the tools to try to advance the development of research in my country. There is a need to acquire a local base of knowledge, something most important in places like Argentina , where Palliative Care has not yet been fully recognized by the academic environment, the public, or other stakeholders. Skills and knowledge gained in Lancaster , UK , made me feel a duty to spread the “word” across our country. Currently, we are working towards a National Palliative Care Research Network, a project born one year ago and not yet very active. I trust, I will also be able to spread the “research commitment” in a newsletter column given to me to write in the Latin American Association of Palliative Care. Also in the local context, some specific research initiatives are now growing and we expect to be able to fully develop those in the very near future.
I wish to express my infinite gratitude to the IAHPC for giving me a Traveling Scholarship. Without it, and the additional help from the Observatory on End of Life Care, it would had been impossible to participate in this brilliant initiative that the Summer School is - I talk in present tense, as those two weeks still remain with me.
Jorge Eisenchlas, MD
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Conference: International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in London, UK
Dr. Reena Mary George
Palliative Care Care Unit
Christian Medical College,
Participating in this Conference was a memorable opportunity to learn from the leading workers in the field of bereavement research and to become aware of new developments in this field.
I was deeply moved to hear about simple community level bereavement interventions that have been applied in conflict affected areas in Africa and Asia that can be modified for use in our context. The setting up of the Asia Africa bereavement group will help us keep in professional contact and we were able to network with palliative care workers from around the world.
We established a twinning relationship with St Ann ’s Hospice Weston and I had a very and useful visit to St Christopher’s Hospice, London . I have gained a better understanding of grief and bereavement, which can be applied both in our clinical work as an interdisciplinary team and in teaching of medical students and postgraduates. I am struck by the need to link bereavement support with social economic rehabilitation for the bereaved family in resource poor countries and would like to explore how this can better be acheived in our clinical services. We would like to develop training programmes for social workers and counselors that address both these domains.
Our links with the Asia Africa group will help us share knowledge and experience in bereavement support in a non-Western context and to reflect on culturally sensitive research projects.
The IAHPC Office was very helpful and efficient in processing my application. Thank you very much for your help and support.
Dr. Reena Mary George