2018 marks a special year in the history of palliative care, not least the 10th EAPC World Congress that takes place in Bern, Switzerland, on 24 to 26 May.
Co-chairs of the Scientific Committee, Luc Deliens (Belgium) and Per Sjøgren (Denmark), extend a warm welcome to all and unveil some of the high points of this year’s congress.
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 10th World Research Congress of the EAPC in Bern. This is the tenth time that we seek to bring together the best researchers and clinicians in palliative care. There will be excellent opportunities to meet other experts in the field, to present and discuss research, gain new ideas and new knowledge on how to improve treatment and care for patients and their families.
In addition, the 10th EAPC World Research Congress will celebrate significant milestones in the development of palliative care: 30 years since the foundation of the EAPC, 20 years of the EAPC Research Network, and the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Dame Cicely Saunders.
For the past two years, the Scientific Committee has worked on and planned the scientific programme. We would like to thank the members of the committee for all their hard work and efforts: Cinzia Brunelli (Italy), Phil Larkin (Ireland), Stein Kaasa (Norway), Roman Rolke (Germany), Cristina Monforte (Spain), Sophie Pautex and Monica Fliedner (Switzerland).
Global interest for research in palliative care is increasing rapidly and the 10th World Research Congress of the EAPC constitutes a substantial number of high-quality abstracts. Thus, we have received 897 abstracts from 55 countries all over the world. The highest submission rates are from UK (166), Netherlands (89) and Switzerland (66). A solid, local presence is therefore expected. This year, categories were more differentiated than previously, also by research methodology, in order to make a more precise and relevant programme. Indeed, this contribution recognizes that palliative care research is steadily improving and large, international collaborative research initiatives are certainly paying off.
The major part of the scientific content of the programme is based upon submitted abstracts. Each abstract is reviewed by two to three independent reviewers from an Advisory Board comprising 114 skilled experts from different fields and countries. We are grateful to all our colleagues who have undertaken this important piece of work.
The highest-scoring abstracts will be prioritised as 1) plenary talks, 2) oral communication sessions, 3) poster discussion sessions, and, 4) the poster presentations.
Thus, the programme offers the following sessions:
- Plenary sessions: Outstanding abstracts have been selected for plenaries. This year, the Vittorio Ventafridda Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Irene Higginson (UK) and three Early Researcher Award winners will be giving lectures on their topics.
- Themed sessions: Seven sessions, each with three invited speakers, have been organised. One of the themed sessions is dedicated to the EAPC Research Network (EAPC-RN).
- Oral communication sessions: High-scoring abstracts will be selected for oral presentations.
- Poster presentations: Two poster discussion sessions will appear in the programme and approximately 400 posters will be presented during the congress.
- Meet-the-experts sessions: Four sessions will take place with an emphasis on expert-participant interaction.
- Satellite symposia: Our major sponsors will present latest breaking news in their fields of interest.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to our Swiss hosts for their hospitality. Many thanks to the organising committee led by Steffen Eychmüller (Switzerland) for all their hard work and excellent collaboration; to the chair of the EAPC-RN Stein Kaasa (Norway), and to the scientific secretaries: Ragnhild Green Helgås and Inger Storaker (Norway) for their great support and engagement.
Keep an eye on the congress website, EAPC social media channels and the blog for regular updates.