Featured article

2016; Volume 17, No 3, March

Featured Article

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March), we are delighted to present four women from the world of palliative care. First, we look at the work of three women whose work led to their award-winning posters.

IAHPC sponsors award-winning posters from South Africa, United States and United Kingdom

As in previous years, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Association was proud to sponsor the first, second and third prizes in the 2015 Palliative Care Network (PCN) International Conference poster prize. Here, Landi Bezuidenhout, Debra Parker Oliver and Tracy Mitchell explain the work that led to their prizewinning posters.

First prizewinner, Landi Bezuidenhout – Comprehensive Care and Support: The vehicle to retain patients in care (South Africa)

Landi Bezuidenhout’s prizewinning poster describes the impact of a five-day course entitled Introduction to Comprehensive Care and Support – Palliative Care for Health Care Professionals. The course aims to promote the integration of palliative care into a continuum of healthcare services, at all service delivery levels, for all patients and their families diagnosed with a life-threatening illness (such as HIV/AIDS) on their life continuum – not just at the end of life.

The study concludes that the course can be a vehicle to improve patient outcomes in a positive manner, leading to retaining patients in care.

Landi Bezuidenhout writes:

After successfully completing Grade 12 at high school and a three-and-a-half year Diploma in General Nursing Science and Midwifery; I also completed two diplomas in Community Nursing Science and Nursing Education.

I worked at the Mpumalanga Department of Health as a ward sister at the Rob Ferreira Hospital and then transferred to the community service, rendering primary health care to the farming community from a mobile clinic. After a stint at the Departments of Communicable Disease Control and Human Resource Management, I resigned from the Department of Health and took a position at a non-governmental organization – ACTS Clinic (AIDS Care Training and Support), where I was introduced to palliative care.

I then completed a Certificate in Palliative Care Nursing, and enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for the post-graduate Diploma in Palliative Care Medicine, which I completed cum laude during 2012. UCT invited me to enroll for the M.Phil, which I hope to complete in 2016.

Currently, I am the Mpumalanga Provincial Manager for the Hospice Palliative Care Association’s CaSIPO Project (Care and Support for Improved Patient Outcomes), with four work streams: the early identification and referral of patients for ARV and TB treatment (including chronic diseases), retention of patients in care, and supporting patients to adhere to treatment – with the overall aim of improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

Landi wins a year’s free membership of the IAHPC, together with US$300.


Second prizewinner, Debra Parker Oliver: Hospice Care Givers Coping Strategies (US)

Debra Parker Oliver, a Professor in the School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri, USA, and a member of the Hospice Caregiving Research Network, writes:

Often family caregivers of hospice patients voluntarily provide care around the clock for their dying family members during the final months of life. They are faced with numerous challenges. The purpose of this study was to understand the strategies used by hospice caregivers to meet the challenges they face in that role. We analyzed qualitative interviews with active hospice caregivers assigned to an attention control group in a large randomized controlled trial to understand how they coped.

Caregivers shared narratives discussing strategies to overcome caregiving challenges related to patient care, self-care, emotional support, and activity. Every caregiver shared ways in which they secured help to care for their loved ones. The majority also discussed strategies to reduce their personal stress and take care of themselves as well as ways they accessed necessary emotional support. Finally, nearly half of the caregivers found activities to help redirect their stress and provide short-term relief from their caregiving role. These strategies represent traits of resilience and indicate a need for additional research to test the effectiveness of various strategies on clinical outcomes.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Nursing Research in the US. Dr. George Demiris, Professor at the University of Washington, is the Principal Investigator and co-author on the larger clinical trial that provided data for this project. I have collaborated with Dr. Demiris for more than 15 years; together we have conducted two large randomized clinical trials testing interventions to improve the caregiving experience in the US hospice setting.

Debra wins a year’s free membership of the IAHPC, together with US$200.


Third prizewinner, Tracy Mitchell – Emergency Care Impact Assessment (ECIA) Project: Claire House Children’s Hospice (UK)

Tracy Mitchell’s prizewinning research project explored the impact of the planned and emergency care provided by a children’s hospice on children and young people with life-limiting conditions, their families and stakeholders to inform future service development.

The study concluded that families need regular respite and support to continue to be able to meet the child’s complex care needs. The lack of alternative respite care outside of and after children’s hospice discharge can have far-reaching consequences for the child, family and society.

Tracy Mitchell writes:

I work as a full-time research assistant in the Evidence-Based Practice Research Centre (EPRC), Faculty of Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK. I have evaluated child and adult hospice services and the end-of-life care provided to children and young people within a UK geographical location. My background is child health, education (mainstream and special schools) and social work. I’m a registered social worker. Having worked with vulnerable children, young people and adults who have learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, complex health needs, acquired brain injury and mental health conditions, and families under stress, I am aware of how ecological factors influence lifelong health and development, education and social wellbeing outcomes. I am committed to research that improves practice and outcomes of care to support children, young people and adults to achieve their potential and the best quality of life.

Tracy wins a year’s free membership of the IAHPC, together with US$100, which she is donating to Claire House Children’s Hospice, a registered charity in the north west of England.


IAHPC Members' Recognition Month 2015 – Florence Nalutaaya wins Loyalty Recognition prize

Our members play a vital part in advancing the mission of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. To formally acknowledge their support, we developed a Members’ Recognition Program to build awareness and understanding of just how much we value our members. Ms. Florence Nalutaaya is winner of our 2015 Loyalty Recognition prize for recruiting the highest number of members to IAHPC in 2015.

I am aged 48 and one of the first nurse morphine prescribers in Uganda and Africa. I hold three diplomas: General Nursing, Palliative Care Clinical Practice and Palliative Care distance learning. I also have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Palliative Care for which I was grateful to receive an IAHPC grant.

My professional engagement with patients spans almost 30 years, of which 15 years have included palliative care. For the past 10 years I have been at Hospice Africa Uganda, latterly as Health Services Manager, and for five years I have been a nurse specialist at the Makerere Mulago Palliative Care Unit (MPCU). We provide hospital-based consultancy support across the national referral hospital, cancer and heart units and work closely with community services to receive and refer patients, and to develop models of integrated practice in the health system.

My current role involves clinical care for patients with chronic illnesses and malignancies; teaching and mentoring students and colleagues on the wards and through international training programs, such as link nurses for palliative care in other parts of Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda.

I began to develop research as part of my B.Sc. and have now completed three projects including the one I recently presented at the Indian Association for Palliative Care Conference (IAPCON 2016) in Pune. This has been a significant learning curve for me. I am a Fellow in a two-year Nurse Leadership Development program and welcome the chance to increase my global understanding and continued personal growth.

I share my home with my husband (a lawyer) and family of six boys. Our oldest son is a family physician and the youngest is in primary school. Outside of palliative care, my hobbies are music, especially drumming, and my national Baganda dancing. I also love to socialize.

I welcome this opportunity to present my work and those of my colleagues in MPCU. I recognize IAHPC for the support rendered to me and to my head of unit, Dr. Mhoira Leng, for the nurture and mentorship.

Florence wins an IAHPC Traveling Scholarship or Traveling Fellowship of US$2,000 and one year’s free IAHPC membership.

Find out more

You can read about the two other winners of Members' Recognition 2015 awards in previous issues of the IAHPC Newsletter: Dr. Alick Kayange (December issue) and Dr. Matthias Brian (February issue).

Read more about the many benefits available to IAHPC members, including the opportunities to apply for our Traveling Scholarships and Fellowships.

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