Winning posters from Berlin: Consensus building on health indicators to assess palliative care global development with an international group of experts

As we prepare for the 11th EAPC World Research Congress we are reminded that poster presentations are an essential cornerstone of every one of our congresses. We shall look forward to another batch of outstanding posters in Palermo but meanwhile bring you one of our winning posters from last year’s Berlin World Congress.

Natalia Arias-Casais and Eduardo Garralda, members of the Research Team at ATLANTES Research Programme at the University of Navarra, Spain, explain the background to their poster, which best exemplified the theme of the congress.

Natalia Arias-Casais and Eduardo Garralda.

During the last plenary of the EAPC World Congress in Berlin in 2019, we were surprised and honoured to discover that our research had been granted the award for the most relevant poster to the theme of the congress. This work was inspired by the need to address the monitoring and evaluation of global palliative care (PC) development at the national level.

We consider this a relevant field of research because despite the growing burden of PC need globally, it remains one of the most neglected fields on the global health agenda. For instance, while other health indicators for global strategies such as HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases are regularly implemented, consensus-based indicators for PC remain overlooked. This ignited our research question: What are the best national-level indicators to assess the progress achieved by countries towards improving access to palliative care?

We conducted a Delphi process with 24 international experts on the topic and delivered a list of 25 indicators organised by the domains suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) Public Health Strategy for PC: education, policy, use of medicines and service provision. We presented them in the Brief Manual of Health Indicators for the Monitoring of Global Palliative Care Development, hoping that governments, ministries of health, policymakers and other stakeholders would use them to assess how PC is developing in each country of the world. Importantly, the indicators presented should be discussed for feasibility within each country or region before being implemented. The manual was presented as the first consensus-based list of indicators on the topic and has been endorsed by the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC), Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), African Palliative Care Association (APCA), Latin American Association for Palliative Care(ALCP) and European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC).


Award for ‘Most Relevant Poster to the Theme of the Congress’: Eduardo Garralda (centre) with Dr Libby Sallnow and Prof Dr Christoph Ostgathe. (Photograph Stefan Zeitz).

The indicators included in the Delphi derived from an exhaustive systematic review that identified all national-level indicators used on regional and global studies and assessed by frequency of appearance. Interestingly, the most frequently used indicators correspond to the four domains previously mentioned. However, very few indicators assessing PC integration into non-specialized provision (i.e. primary care) are scarce. Additionally, indicators for monitoring PC development for children are also lacking. The latest, points out emerging fields of research that have not yet been addressed.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to present our poster at the congress. It was a fantastic and rewarding experience and well worth the effort we had put into the study.

We would like to encourage other young researchers to give it a try and submit their posters to future congresses, to share the knowledge derived from research and to engage internationally with fellow researchers.

Links and resources

11th EAPC World Congress

Join us in Palermo 14 to 16 May 2020 for the 11th EAPC World Research Congress and view more outstanding posters. Register before 15 February to benefit from Early Bird discount, plus EAPC members get a further 25% off congress registration fees.

Authors of abstracts accepted for the 11thEAPC World Research Congress will be notified shortly.

This entry was posted in 16th EAPC World Congress Berlin, ADVOCACY & POLICY, RESEARCH. Bookmark the permalink.

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