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In this issue of IQ News we have collected, as usual, a few items of scientific news and a few updates about past and future congresses and courses. In order to make a step further in our attempt to share IPOS among different countries and regions, we report in the “Let’s Talk” section: (i) the greetings of Maria Die Trill, who is going to take up her role as Vice-President/President Elect after the Dublin congress; (ii) two reports about the growing African psycho-oncology movement written by Chioma Asuzu (Nigeria), and Philip Odiyo and Hellen Waithaka (Kenya).
In the “Stay Connected” section we also want to celebrate that Dr Bill Breitbart from MSKCC will be awarded the 2017 Trish Greene Quality of Life Award by the National Cancer Society early next year.
We hope you will suggest news and updates for the next issue and whatever your travel plans:
Go dté tú slán (May you go safely)
Contract Professor, School of Human Health Sciences at the University of Florence Chief of Research, Psycho-Oncology Unit, Oncological Department of Florence, Italy
Oncology Social Work Supervisor, GVI Oncology, Cape Town, South Africa
It is a bit surprising that “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” written by Rebecca Skloot is still selling well after 5 years and is considered a “must-read” book by critics. They describe the book as being a best seller in the marketplace with on-going sales on Amazon (1st best-seller in the “history of Medicine” as paperback edition, and 3rd best seller as Kindle edition). The story of Henrietta and of the HeLa cells, taken without her knowledge or consent, still fascinates experts and laymen.
In the next few months a lot of funding opportunities will become available. We particularly suggest our members to monitor a few resources. The World Wide Cancer Research grants will be published in the early 2017. The American Cancer Society continues to encourage research projects that focus on the multifaceted relationship between nutrition and physical activity and cancer. EU Horizon 2020 funding is still available.
Offered at MSKCC in New York, as an update for all clinicians as part of the centre’s Continuing Medical Education programme.
Psychosocial Cancer Care
Supporting Patients, Caregivers and Healthcare Professionals NUHS Tower Block Auditorium, Level 1, Singapore 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119228
This annual conference draws participants from across the USA, with a splattering of representatives from other countries as well. It’s known within the oncology social work community to be a warm and supportive forum for learning and sharing, exchanging ideas and gaining new skills.
This year’s theme was “A safe harbour in the storm” and the conference included several workshops in addition to plenary and breakaway sessions, together with a comprehensive poster display. For the first time, a post-conference Research Institute was offered to encourage participants to discuss their research ideas, and brush up on techniques or trends in this important aspect of clinical work.
An honest and refreshing look at the AOSW conference through the eyes of a first-time attender is recorded in the AOSW Navigator, and may be accessed at this link.
With thanks to Donald Rolfe, Marketing Communications Manager at AOSW for permission to quote the organisation’s own newsletter, the AOSW Navigator.
Dr Bill Breitbart from MSKCC will be awarded the 2017 Trish Green Quality of Life Award by the National Cancer Society early next year. For those of you who missed the announcement, have a look here: http://ipos-society.org/dr-bill-breitbart-recipient-2017-american-cancer-society/
The Psycho Oncology Society of Kenya is finally registered with the Kenyan government. This is a major achievement for the development of Psycho-oncology in Kenya and Eastern Africa. We hope that we can use the opportunity to spur development in other African countries. The objectives of the Kenyan chapter are as follows.
(a) To serve as national body and forum for the dissemination of information to professionals and the general public about psycho-oncology.
(b) To develop excellence in clinical care, research and education in the specialty of psycho-oncology;
(c) To promote education and information sharing through meetings, conferences, workshops, regional meetings and publications.
(d) To advise national agencies about policy issues related to psycho-oncology.
(e) To recognize exceptional contributions to the field of psycho-oncology through distinguished Service or other awards.
(f) To collaborate with institutions that offer psycho-oncology services.
The association currently has around 100 members however this number will increase once we roll out the training programs. We are confident that by the end of next year the number will have increased dramatically since the association is officially registered. We are currently in the process of registering the association to become a member of Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations. KENCO has over 50 non-governmental organizations involved in cancer work in Kenya.
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr Jimmie Holland and the IPOS team for their support and encouragement.
The opening ceremony at the University of Calabar Conference Centre was attended by the University and Teaching Hospital management team or their representatives, as well as the representative of the World Health Organization, Dr Thompson Igbu and Professor Edisua H Itam, deputy provost of the College of Health Sciences of the university who represented the Vice Chancellor.
The keynote address was presented by Prof Owoidoho Udofia on ‘Cancer Management: Venturing Beyond the Tumor’. The academy and conference was declared open by Professor Itam on behalf of the Vice Chancellor. Prof Lucio Luzzatto gave the first lecture on ‘Cancer diagnosis and cancer prognosis: communication between patients and carers’. The conference and workshop for the remaining two days was held at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and included workshops on Art Psychotherapy (facilitator Dr Paola Luzzatto and Building Psycho-oncology Services and Models – Application to the Nigerian and African context (facilitator Dr Chioma Asuzu).
The POSON Annual General Meeting was held and the 7th POSON National Conference and Workshop will be held Lagos on the last week in May 2017. The APOA General Meeting was held which apart from confirming the interim officers (as the substantive officers) agreed to hold the next APOA Congress in Kenya in 2018.
Dear friends and colleagues
It is a great honour for me to thank you all for having elected me as the next IPOS Vice-President. I assume this as a great responsibility that I hope to comply with in the most productive and efficient way. I am sure that my experience with IPOS since many years ago, the very competent IPOS members that are involved in working with the society, and all of you, are going to be of great help in this endeavour. I am very much looking forward to working with our current President Luzia Travado, and Past President Barry Bultz, as well as with all members of the Board.
It is not an easy task to define what my expectations of IPOS are given that so much is left to be done, but so much has already been achieved by our predecessors since the early days! Designing new policy initiatives focused around the multidisciplinary psychosocial care of cancer patients and reinforcing existing ones is one of my goals. I believe that our efforts need to continue assuring that psychooncology is at the top of the public health agenda worldwide, something that unfortunately is still not easy to reach in many countries. Increasing membership, especially in countries that are hardly represented in IPOS, is another important goal. Reaching out to countries in South America for example, where there is a significant amount of activity in psychooncology and palliative care is for me, imperative. Increasing collaboration with local psychooncology societies through the Federation will allow us to learn more from each other and collaborate on different projects such as for example, the development of psycho-oncological treatment protocols or clinical practice guidelines that are culturally sensitive and may be easily implemented by professionals in the field. Supporting the introduction of new technologies in the care of cancer patients and their families, as well as in IPOS´s functioning will help us keep updated with modern times!
I also wanted to thank and congratulate the organizers of the next IPOS congress in Dublin. They have designed a program that will reach a global audience; one in which there is room for world leading experts as well as for early career professionals, and one providing a unique opportunity to network, meet colleagues and certainly make new friends. The theme they have chosen for the congress: Psycho-oncology, Science, Art and Practice, Bridging the Gap speaks for itself.
Thank you all and see you in Dublin
Maria Die Trill
An article aimed to quantify uptake, adherence to psychological support, and to identify predictors of using each intervention features in the August edition of Psycho-Oncology. This meta-analysis reports how patients appeared more receptive to interventions offered around time of diagnosis, over the telephone and by nurses. On the one hand, authors highlight the need for further research to understand barriers to acceptance of psychological support, particularly because uptake rates were lower for distressed patients. On the other hand, a comment published on Psycho-oncology seems to call into question the effectiveness of “preferable” interventions too. As they all said, more research is truly needed.
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