Grants in Action

Volume 24, Number 11: November 2023

IAHPC asks recipients of its scholarships to report on the events they attend. These are the Scholars reports on the 15th Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Conference, held in Incheon, Korea, October 4-7, 2023.

IAHPC Scholars at the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Conference in Incheon, Korea, with IAHPC Board Member Maria Cigolini. (L-R) Edmar Elcarte, Dr. Cigolini, Nicholas Law, Bhanu Maurya, and Christanti Effency. Photo used with permission.

Demoralization: A disorder of meaning, not mood

Nicholas Law, oncology & palliative medical officer, Sarawak General Hospital
Kuching, Malaysia

The preconference workshop and plenary on demoralization by Prof. David Kissane was particularly interesting. It described how demoralization is a disorder of meaning, as compared to depression, which is a disorder of mood. 

This bridges the knowledge gap as to why patients who may not be depressed may still feel that their lives are pointless, and seek to end their lives prematurely. This is of importance to patients in palliative care who may feel that life is not worth living when symptoms are not well controlled or when total pain is not addressed. 

More needs to be done to find out the prevalence of demoralization in our community and, subsequently, to be able to find out what enables people to find hope and meaning.

On education: We are aiming to have all physician trainees in Malaysia do a palliative care rotation, so that they are better equipped to deal with palliative care needs.

On access to medicines: We aim to improve coverage throughout the country by having master clinics train smaller health clinics in rural and regional areas: training that will include improved access to medications and home visits for palliative care support.

Oral presentation: Attitudes and Beliefs of Oncology Practitioners Regarding Palliative Care Referrals. 

Nurses Should Develop Competence in Palliative Care

Christantie Effendy, researcher, lecturer & clinical nurse, Universitas Gadjah Mada
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

In Indonesia, people still lack information about palliative care; they are also worried about, and are afraid of, using opioids for the treatment of pain. It is therefore important for health care workers to provide a great deal of education about evidence-based practices and policies on the use of opioids and their benefits for patients. 

One of the main takeaways for me was that nurses should develop competence in palliative care. The conference has inspired me to promote the topic of primary palliative care and the importance of palliative care at the community level. 

Overall, I had a pleasant experience because there were several colleagues from Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand who were interested in my research and expressed interest in collaborating on joint research. 

Poster:  Experiences of Health Care Professionals in Providing Home-Based Paediatric Palliative Care in Indonesia

A Valuable Session on ICU Practices

Bhanu Maurya, senior resident, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences
New Delhi, India

I valued the information I learned at the session titled "How to Make Palliative Care Embedded in a Challenging Environment: Palliative Care in ICUs" because we have limited experience about the setup of an intensive care unit and types of patients seen there. Two other notable presentations, from my point of view, were on "Expectation and Operation of Palliative Care Consultation in ICUs" and "Development of a Palliative Care Intervention Based on Person-Centered Care in the Intensive Care Unit."

Poster:  Palliative Care Needs Assessment in Patients Suffering from Advanced Heart Diseases in a Tertiary Hospital

Advancing Policies & Guidelines

Edmar Elcarte, faculty, De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute
Batangas, Philippines

I learned about many advances in improving resilience among health care workers, so that quality of care is retained.

I also met prominent people who shared their experiences in policy making and collaborating with their government officials. We developed the Palliative and Hospice Care Basic Training Manual for both health care and non-health care workers, and are currently developing clinical pathway guidelines in palliative and hospice care; with the aid of having attended this conference. We will continue to promote palliative care through policy development and are advocating to adopt palliative care principles in curricula for programs in nursing, medicine, and other health care fields. We hope to share our experiences in the next conference.

Poster: Effectiveness of Palliative and Hospice Care Basic Training Manual

To find out more about IAHPC’s Program Support Grants, including IAHPC Scholarships and Fellowships, please visit our websiteThrough these programs we support projects and individuals around the world, especially in developing countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

You can help palliative care workers attend and participate in congresses and courses by donating to the IAHPC Scholarships Campaign.

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