Shelagh Wright PhD, a retired lecturer in psycho-oncology from Ireland, was in Copenhagen for the Congress. Here, she gives us her impressions of the Congress and urges everyone to sign the Prague Charter to recognise palliative care as a human right…
Everything about this, my first visit to Denmark, to attend the 14th EAPC World Congress in Copenhagen was value for money, with reasonable flight, accommodation and subsistence costs. Similar to many other delegates I stayed at a Cabinn Hotel, within walking distance of metro, train and bus, giving quick, cheap travel to the congress venue. Congratulations to the Organising Committee for arranging a high quality, very successful EAPC 14th World Congress in the Bella Centre, Copenhagen.
A spacious poster area, adjacent to a light-filled, airy, attractive exhibition arena, with circular tables for refreshments, networking and ‘chilling’, was particularly helpful. As always I found the posters a vital component of the Congress. One element that stood out was how collaboration across departments and units influenced project success, indicating consensus and cooperation. Palliative care, along with several topics, including pain, was until recently taught most frequently at postgraduate level, but is now increasingly viewed as a necessary standard for undergraduate teaching. This change cannot happen too soon…
As well as highly interesting plenaries and a brilliant musical interlude by Donau Swing, aspects of the programme that interested me were: identifying aspects of patient need for service improvement; ascertaining associations between symptoms and reduction in quality of life; and programmes of palliative care education for healthcare professionals. I was especially interested in the poster on palliative care education issues and the one on undergraduate education in cancer care addressing the issues of patient-centred care, support and self management; promoting self management for patients and families, including complementary therapies, and measurement of patient-related outcomes.
Well done to Ireland for excellent representation at the Congress and especially to Dr Kathleen McLoughlin, winner of this year’s EAPC Early Researcher Award, who has given a high quality lead with community-focused service development. 1 My heartfelt thanks to the EAPC for honouring the book, ‘Pain Management in Nursing Practice’, by awarding it as a part prize for the Early Researcher Awards – such invaluable author recognition. 2
I visited Tivoli Gardens and also spent time with Jens Olsen’s World Clock – an analogy of long-term thinking, working collaboratively and the helpfulness of clusters that might equally be applied to the EAPC’s 14th World Congress. As a retired lecturer in psycho-oncology, I was delighted to note the collaboration between the EAPC and the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS).
Especially important to me is the Prague Charter, which was presented in the closing ceremony by Esther Schmidlin, who gave a progress report and urged us to sign the petition before it closes at the end of May. 3
I left the EAPC World Congress refreshed and inspired and very appreciative of all the work involved. I personally owe a major debt of gratitude to immediate past President of the EAPC, Professor Sheila Payne, for invaluable support and mentorship in recent years.
- Dr Kathleen McLoughlin from Ireland wins 2015 EAPC Early Researcher Award, EAPC Blog, 9 May 2015.
- Wright, S (2015) Pain Management in Nursing Practice. London: SAGE with IASP.
- The Prague Charter petition urges governments to relieve suffering and recognise palliative care as a human right. Please sign the petition.
More about the author
Shelagh Wright initiated the first MSc in Psycho-oncology in Ireland in the School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University. She is a Registered Psychologist, and retired Registered Nurse and Midwife. She is a Committee Member of the Irish Pain Society and was recently appointed Advisory Member (Nursing) of the International CHANGE PAIN® Advisory Board for CHANGE ACUTE PAIN. Shelagh has many years’ experience teaching pain management in nursing practice at under and postgraduate level and is currently developing a Consultancy in Pain Education (Nursing).