Each month, we publish a selection of items that may be of interest to our global readership. Contributions are welcomed; we reserve the right to edit content.
Please also consider promoting your education and training events in the IAHPC Global Directory of Education in Palliative Care. It’s quick and easy — just submit your content online.
The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care supports the professional development of its members so they can enhance their skills and knowledge to provide high-quality palliative care to patients in need.
As a way to support undergraduate students who are currently attending university — regardless of their career or field — the IAHPC offers one year of free membership to all.
Chair of the Board Prof. Lukas Radbruch commented that, ‘The IAHPC provides today’s undergraduate students — the future professionals — the opportunity to learn and enhance their palliative care skills and knowledge.’
Some of the benefits that both undergraduates and post-graduate students will enjoy include: 1) free unlimited on-line access and downloads for full text articles from leading palliative care journals, including Palliative Medicine, Journal of Palliative Medicine, Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy, Progress in Palliative Care, Indian Journal of Palliative Care and, many more; 2) eligibility to participate in the traveling fellowship program for teaching and traveling scholarship program to continuing your education; 3) IAHPC monthly e-newsletters with updates on palliative care advances around the world; 4) free access to the IAHPC’s website with resources; and many more!
The criteria are:
Undergrads can sign up here.
Physicians who reside in a low- or middle-income country as defined by the World Bank & Hinari list of eligible countries are eligible for a complimentary international membership with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
One benefit is that members are given priority when the AAHPM receives applications for its International Physician Scholarship Fund. The fund was established to provide access to quality education for physicians who reside in low- and middle-income countries (as defined by World Bank) to attend and participate in the AAHPC’s Annual Assembly. Successful candidates receive financial support of up to $5,000 USD to cover ordinary costs associated with attending the Annual Assembly (registration and travel-related expenses, including air fare, taxi fare, meals, and lodging).
Go here for more information.
Leaders are of utmost importance for the development of palliative care worldwide. To underline this need, the European Palliative Care Academy (EUPCA) in collaboration with the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) has developed the Award for Palliative Care Leadership Programmes 2019. The intent is to reward those already doing the important work of palliative care development, and to encourage others to follow suit.
According to the organizations’ joint announcement, they are ‘looking for leadership capacity building programmes worldwide that are striving to develop palliative care. These initiatives could take place in your hospice, hospital, or other palliative care institution.’
The deadline for applications is 4 November 2018. Institutions must meet criteria that include:
The winner will be announced at an award ceremony during the 2019 EAPC congress in Berlin. A representative of the winning institution will receive registration, accommodation, and travel costs to attend the conference and award ceremony.
The African Palliative Care Association, which successfully created an outcome scale for adults in Africa, has developed a draft of ‘the first specifically designed, multi-dimensional outcome tool for pediatric palliative care’ called the African Children’s Palliative Outcome Scale (African C-POS).
Developed across eight African countries, the tool is specific to the subSaharan Africa region. It consists of 12 questions: eight for the child (or carer, if the child is unable to respond), and four for the child’s family or other caregivers.
‘There is limited evidence of the quality or outcomes of [pediatric palliative] care provided,’ according to Julia Downing, Eve Namisango, and Richard Harding, authors of a paper recently published online by the Annals of Palliative Medicine describing development of the draft tool. ‘Whilst there are a variety of outcome measures for use in adult palliative care (PC), a similar range of tools does not exist in PPC.’
The finalization of the African C-POS is in its last stages, with publication of the completed tool anticipated in 2018. Information about its validity and psychometric properties has been submitted for publication. In the interim, more information — including the questions that comprise the draft African C-POS, can be found by clicking on ‘pdf’ of the published report online.
‘A misconception in research in pediatrics is that children are unable to tell you what they want, that some of the topics might be too sensitive for the child, that you will upset the child,’ according to the report. ‘This is not the case. Experience in interviewing children during the development of the [African] C-POS is that they are able to tell you what is important to them, the outcomes of the care that they would like to see, being realistic that for many of them, cure is not an option.’
After the tool is published, the authors note that future developments will include: using the African C-POS in practice, research, and audit; collating and reviewing data sets; and developing the C-POS in different settings.’
The ‘Become an EPEC Trainer’ and ‘Become an EPEC-EM Trainer’ conferences lead to participants becoming certified EPEC trainers who can implement effective palliative care practices at their home institutions and teach others to do the same. This professional development workshop provides opportunities to practice and further enhance teaching and leadership skills.
The next conference will take place 13-15 September 2018 at Hamburger University in Oakbrook, Illinois, USA; the registration fees varies from $695-$1,950 USD.
EPEC uses a high-impact, high dissemination curriculum to spread primary palliative care competencies to health care providers around the world. Trainers in the United States and 25 countries abroad teach EPEC to thousands of their colleagues each year. The EPEC program:
Please contact EPEC at 312-503-3732 for more information, or visit the website www.epec.net.
Palliative Care McGill — which is hosting the upcoming 22nd International Congress on Palliative Care being held 2-5 October 2018 in Montreal, Canada — is appealing for donations to offset the costs of those interested in attending but who lack the resources.
‘It is often very difficult for palliative care clinicians from under-resourced communities, in Canada and abroad, to attend the PAL Congress because of lack of funding. Therefore they cannot access the information, education, and research they need to improve palliative care services in their communities,’ says the appeal. ‘To date, we have requests for assistance from colleagues in Uganda, Rwanda, Indonesia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and Cameroon.
Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $15 or more. To donate or for more information, contact Devon by email: Phillips@mcgill.ca.
In July, the U.S.-based Center to Advance Palliative Care released the summary of results from data submitted by 365 non-pediatric, hospital-based palliative care programs for 2017. The report answers such questions as: What percentage of hospital admissions do palliative care teams see in large hospitals? How many consults does the average billing clinician see in a year? On average, what percentage of inpatient palliative care consults come from oncologists?
Topics covered include:
A free, downloadable pdf of the summary data is available from the CAPC here.
Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) is a resource for dementia caregivers in India. ARDSI is involved in dementia and caregiving awareness activities, developing services, training family members and professionals, and undertaking research. It runs helplines to provide information on Alzheimer’s and caregiving; it also provides information for research studies on dementia.
The organization holds an annual country-wide conference on dementia. The 22nd National ARDSI Conference, Dementia 2018, is being held 14-16 September 2018 in Bangalore. The theme is ‘Research Implement Improve.’
ARDSI has chapters in many cities. Most chapters provide dementia-related services, such as: memory clinic, caregiver support groups, home visits for assessment, caregiver training for home carers and professional carers, day care centers, counseling, and helplines. They hold seminars and workshops as well as publicize dementia through awareness programs, functions for the World Alzheimer’s Day, and other events.
Patients and caregivers can contact their local ARDSI chapter for information and support. Some chapters maintain websites that may not have up-to-date information; it is best to contact a chapter directly for the latest news (find the list of each chapter and contact information here).
The African Palliative Care Association (APCA) has developed an e-learning program that facilitates self-directed learning on how to manage pain effectively. It is supported by the APCA pocket guide, Beating Pain: A Pocket Guide for Pain Management in Africa. Both the pocket guide and e-learning module target doctors, clinicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists and dispensers at all levels of service provision in Africa.
The e-learning guide enables users to undertake self-directed learning on pain management, using the pocket guide as a resource. Those who wish to access APCA’s e-learning resources need to register by creating an account here.
End-of-Life University has new offerings: a podcast each Monday; and a talk given by Suzanne O'Brien, founder of Doulagivers, on ‘How the End-of-Life Doula Movement is Going Global’ as part of its lecture series.
O’Brien provides free end-of-life doula training in an online program for anyone, anywhere.
According to the Doulagivers website, an end-of-life doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) at the end of life. End-of-life doulas are also known around the world as: end-of-life coaches, soul midwives, transition guides, death coaches, death doulas, doula to the dying, death midwives, thanadoula, and end-of-life guides.
Suzanne O’Brien offers certification training classes, both in person and online; the next online session begins 4 September 2018; there is no cost and participants can study at their own pace from anywhere around the world. Participants have ‘24/7 access to 12 self-paced online modules. The structure comprises videos, audio, texts, assignments, assessments, and actual case studies.
Topics covered include:
Palliative Care Wales has devised a Care Decisions Tool for the Last Days of Life, freely available online as a pdf or docx file. It comprises a list of care decisions, record of symptom assessment, notes all routine and ‘as required’ medications, provides dosing guidance for opioids, recommended treatments for common end-of-life conditions (anxiety, noisy breathing, nausea, etc.) and more.
‘The Care Decisions guidance represents a patient-centred model of care focussing on communication, comfort and compassionate care for the patient and those important to them wherever possible,’ according to the website.
Other useful documents are paired with the Care Decisions Tool, to further the goal of open communication between caregivers: medical, family, or other.
Canada’s British Columbia Cancer Agency has compiled a group of relaxation CDs intended for use in palliative care. The CDs that include segments of autogenics, breath work, visualization, guided imagery and music, which are ‘components that can help you find calm and focus.’ They are ‘to help restore balance and harmony in your body, mind, and emotions.’
See the IAHPC Calendar of Events.