‘Journal of Palliative Medicine’ Best European Paper of the Year Award at #EAPC2019


Today, Dr Charles von Gunten, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Palliative Medicine, introduces the EAPC’s newest ‘official journal’ and welcomes you to the plenary session on Friday 24 May in Berlin when the winner of the journal’s ‘Best European Paper’ will be announced.

Charles F. von Gunten.

Journal of Palliative Medicine is now an official journal of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). I couldn’t be more pleased because I have always looked to the EAPC annual meeting for innovations in clinical care.

Journal of Palliative Medicine (JPM) is in its 22nd year of publication. I have been Editor-in-Chief for the last 11 of those years. Our managing editor, Lisa Pelzek-Braun, has served the journal for all of those 22 years. When people ask me about my goals, I say ‘World Domination’. Although that response is designed to elicit a laugh, I am serious.1

Cicely Saunders built St Christopher’s Hospice to simultaneously demonstrate and research her hypotheses about better medical care for those dying of cancer and motor neurone disease. The subsequent 50 years have seen her principles disseminated and implemented around the globe. Research has shown palliative care works in a range of advanced diseases, not just cancer. It works in hospitals, hospices, and at home. Better quality at lower cost has been widely demonstrated. Even more importantly, palliative medicine has been shown to improve healthcare outcomes the earlier during serious illness it is introduced.

I think it is analogous to penicillin. It was initially administered to those dying of pneumonia. It was then discovered to work better when you started it before the person was dying. It then was demonstrated to work for other infections. It also prevents infections. Finally, the host of antimicrobials that followed has changed the face of health care globally. I see the same path for palliative care.

Alleviating the Access Abyss in Palliative Care and Pain Relief – The Lancet Commission Report catalogues the gaps.2  In my mind, the road ahead is clear – World Domination.

Each issue of Journal of Palliative Medicine is shaped to meet the needs of clinicians. Physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and other disciplines engaged in direct patient care frequently feel isolated and overwhelmed. When such a person opens Journal of Palliative Medicine, I want them to say, ‘This is relevant to what I do. Here is my tribe. I feel strengthened for the work I do.’ In my observation, one of the barriers to World Domination is lack of confidence. To feel part of a global community is a powerful tonic.

Last May, we announced a prize for the Best European Paper published in Journal of Palliative Medicine in 2018. The paper was selected from all European papers published in Journal of Palliative Medicine during calendar year 2018. Twenty-three papers from ten European countries were eligible. Authors came from Demark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Criteria for ‘best’ included contribution to the current literature, clinical relevance, originality, scientific rigour and the number of downloads from the web. Selection was made by both JPM and the EAPC. The winning paper will be announced at the 16th EAPC World Congress in Berlin at the 24 May plenary session. We hope you will join us to celebrate the occasion.

The EAPC joins other professional associations that have established a formal relationship with JPM. They include: Australia & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (ANZSPM), Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Association, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP), Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), and the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine (JSPM).


  1. von Gunten CF, World Domination. J Palliat Med 2017; 2-3
  2. Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief – an imperative of universal health coverage. FM Knaul, PE Farmer, EL Krakauer, L De Lima, A Bhadelia, XJ Kwete, H Arreola-Ornelas, O Gómez-Dantés, NM Rodriguez, GAO Alleyne, SR Connor, DJ Hunter, D Lohman, L Radbruch, M del Rocío Sáenz Madrigal, R Atun, KM Foley, J Frenk, DT Jamison, M R Rajagopal, on behalf of the Lancet Commission on Palliative Care and Pain Relief Study Group; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32513-8/fulltext. (Accessed 19.5.2019).

Join us in Berlin at #EAPC2019 for Journal of Palliative Medicine’s European Paper of the Year Award
If you’re attending the 16thEAPC World Congress in Berlin (23-25 May 2019), please come along to the award presentation on Friday 24 May, at 10:20 in Convention Hall II. View and download the final congress programme here. Or, use the interactive programme tool. Start perusing and planning now! Register for the congress here.

Read more posts relating to the 16th EAPC World Congress here.

This entry was posted in 16th EAPC World Congress Berlin, Journal of Palliative Medicine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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