Being informed about palliative care – updates on the EAPC information needs assessment survey NEED_IT

Dr Saskia Jünger, Health Scientist, Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Bonn, Germany

In autumn 2011, an EAPC palliative care information needs survey was undertaken with 575 participants from more than 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In many of these countries, access to comprehensive palliative care information is difficult which inhibits palliative care development. Access to up-to-date information is restricted because of a lack of financial resources and language barriers. To ensure that new resources will match the needs of the users in CEE and CIS countries, the EAPC undertook a survey to assess the information needs of specialists involved in palliative/hospice care in this region. The results of the survey will support a targeted planning of information provision, educational opportunities and dissemination strategies to enhance further palliative care development in CEE and CIS.

The questionnaire was completed in 13 different languages – the majority of the respondents were physicians, nurses, and psychosocial staff, but other health care professionals and stakeholders were also represented such as health economists or specialists for human rights in healthcare. First results were presented in June at the 7th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Trondheim, Norway. The final results will be published later this year.

We would like to sincerely thank our partners in the countries for supporting this study with their incredible commitment in translating the questionnaire and distributing it among colleagues and health professionals in their countries. And, of course, we would like to express our thanks to all those who have completed the survey and contributed to the results of this project.

Gomel Home Hospice Team

Dr Irina Kalmanovich (second from left) with the Gomel Home Hospice team

As a reward for participating in this survey, one free online subscription to the European Journal of Palliative Care (EJPC) was drawn among all respondents. It is our pleasure to announce that the prizewinner is Dr Irina Kalmanovich on behalf of her team. Dr Irina Kalmanovich is the head of a children’s palliative home care service in Gomel, Belarus. Together with two nurses and a psychologist, Irina is providing medical, social and emotional support to 25 families whose children have severe genetic disorders, life limiting conditions or terminal illnesses. The Gomel Home Hospice team is linked to the Palliative Home Care Gomel Programme, which is part of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice. Hospice and palliative care are still relatively new concepts in the Belarusian health and social care sphere. The Belarusian Children’s Hospice, established by Anna Garchakova in Minsk in 1994, was the first children’s hospice in the whole former Soviet Union. Today, its home care programme in Minsk provides care for 120 persons.

We would like to thank the European Journal of Palliative Care for donating this online subscription.

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