Travel date: October 7, 2020
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 11th EAPC Research Congress - Online
Origin: Kampala, Uganda / Destination: Vilvoorde, Belgium
This was my first time to attend the EAPC research conference although I have been able to attend the EAPC congress twice (2011 and 2019) with support from IAHPC. Although this experience was different because it was online, the conference I thought was very successful and well organised. I was impressed by the quality of research presented and this has stimulated my thinking about research we can do or replicate in our setting. After attending the session on outcomes and patient reported outcome measures I thought incorporating these in our patient follow up will be very useful in assessing our impact on patient care and this information will be valuable to us to identify areas of strengths and those that need improvement. I was very much encouraged and inspired by the talk on multidisciplinary working in palliative care by Prof. Payne and I will draw on this talk as a leader in my organisation to improve my leadership skills and to keep going both in the tough and good times. It was very helpful to also hear of different palliative care specialists’ experiences of caring for patients with COVID-19. As the number of patients and deaths due to this disease are increasing in Uganda and the need for palliative care is increasing, this information will be very useful to our team as we care for these patients. I also benefited on the sessions on children’s palliative care because our organization is increasingly getting more referrals of children with palliative care needs and I will share this information with our team so that we can use it to help further develop the children’s palliative care service. I have often had difficulty explaining spiritual care to colleagues but after attending the EAPC open meeting presentations on spirituality I found a simple way to explain it. I was pleased to get information on relevant clinical issues such as opioid addiction in palliative care which is a common question I face from patients and colleagues and I now have clear answers and I hope to investigate this in our patient population. I am also very excited to have the chance to read and listen to all those presentations I didn’t have a chance to listen to during the conference as we have been access for another couple of months. Overall this was a great learning and inspiring experience for me.
As a palliative care physician working in an academic setting and also in a hospital setting, I will use this knowledge in teaching of undergraduate, medical and nursing students, and postgraduate students of the different disciplines of medicine. These are the future leaders in clinical care and medical education and from my experience having evidence from research in palliative care is very useful in changing their attitudes towards palliative care and we have observed that once they acquire knowledge and skills and a changed attitude they become agents for change and advocates for palliative care. In previous years lack of evidence on effectiveness of palliative care interventions prevented my colleagues from taking on palliative care and evidence from this conference will be very useful in answering some of the questions they have. In addition increasingly these students want to do research in palliative care and during this research I was exposed to wide range of topics which can be replicated in our setting and I can suggest to students to take on. I will also use the information obtained from this conference in discussions with colleagues at mini rounds and grand rounds. I hope to incorporate some of the information obtained at this conference e.g use of patient reported outcomes to assess our impact on patient care and this information will be used in our advocacy for palliative care services with policy makers. The information got on palliative care in the COVID-19 response will be used to advocate for having more integration of palliative care in our COVID-19 response in Uganda. In Uganda several institutions are trying to integrate palliative care in their care and I am a member of a consultancy team that will advise on integration of palliative care in one national institution and the information I got from the session on Integration of specialist palliative care session is timely and will be used to advise the Institution.
I think it is great as it is.