Dr Carlos Centeno, University of Navarra, Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), ATLANTES Research Programme, Pamplona, Spain, explains the background to a new report, drawn up by the EAPC Task Force on the Process of Specialisation in Palliative Medicine in Europe and presented at the 8th EAPC World Research Congress in Lerida (Spain).
For many years we had no clear idea of where and how doctors working full time in palliative medicine could obtain advanced training qualifications, nor where palliative medicine was considered a medical specialty. Now, a new report by the EAPC Task Force on the Process of Specialisation in Palliative Medicine in Europe reveals that 18 out of 53 European countries have official specialisation programmes: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. Ten of these programmes have been started in the last five years, demonstrating that palliative medicine is truly growing as a field of specialisation in Europe.
The report is the result of a collaborative research project spearheaded by Deborah Bolognesi, Professor Guido Biasco and I, investigators at the Universities of Navarra and Bologna and members of the EAPC task force. We designed a study to review the countries in which a possible specialisation process had been identified and built up a successful research team involving our two institutions.
The result of this study was presented as a supplement to the EAPC Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe and is entitled ‘Specialisation in Palliative Medicine for Physicians in Europe 2014’.1 It is a 50-page monograph that has been carefully edited by the same publishing company that published the EAPC Atlas. The publication includes an introduction, in which the methodology is described, a section of country reports describing the specialisation process in each country, and a graphics section with maps and tables that enable the reader to make a comparative analysis. Similar reports with information about specialisation processes in the United States, Australia and Canada are included in an appendix.
During this study we have had the opportunity to work very intensely with a European network of more than 20 palliative care professionals, who generously gave up their time to respond accurately and meet the requirements of the study by providing data from their native countries. It has been very rewarding to present them with the result of their efforts, an excellent publication that will help our field progress and that will be available to the international community.
1. Bolognesi D, Centeno C, Biasco G. Specialisation in Palliative Medicine for Physicians in Europe 2014. A Supplement of the EAPC Atlas of Palliative Care in Europe. Milan: EAPC Press; 2014. Available to download (accessed 19 July 2014) and as a free App ‘ICS-ATLANTES’ for the main electronic platforms.
More about the project
‘Specialisation in Palliative Medicine for Physicians in Europe 2014’ is a joint project of the University of Navarra, Institute for Culture and Society (ICS), ATLANTES Research Programme, Pamplona, Spain, and the University Alma Mater Studiorum, the Giorgio Prodi Centre for Cancer Research and the Accademia delle Scienze di Medicina Palliativa in Bologna, Italy. The project received an unrestricted educational grant from the Fondazione Isabella Seragnoli, Bologna, Italy. The above-mentioned authors represent the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Task Force on the Process of Specialisation in Palliative Medicine in Europe
Selected presentations from the 8th EAPC World Research Congress now online…
Even if you weren’t able to attend the congress held in Lleida, Spain, in June 2014, you can now download some of the presentations and other information relating to the congress. Click here to view.