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11th EAPC World Research Congress 2020

Abstracts and report from the 11th EAPC World Research Congress Online, 2020

Welcome address by Professor Caraceni, Chair of the EAPC Research Network

Recorded on 21st May 2020, this video has closed captions and a full transcript is also available to view below.

As the chair of the EAPC Research Network I would like to share with you a few thoughts about our next conference, the 11th World Research Conference of the EAPC online. I will share with you a few thoughts about a few subjects: sadness, compassion and closeness pride, values and our responsibilities and I will end up with an invitation.
So we are sad of course. We are sad because the reason why the EAPC research conference is going online in 2020 is a tragedy affecting all of us.
According to estimates of the John Hopkins University COVID-19 infected 5 million cases. 323,000 died, 10% of them in Italy, 5% in Lombardy region from where I am talking to you. Spain, UK , Brazil, USA …. so many others are facing the same emergency and we do not yet know how this will affect our lives and our way to be together and meet in the future. Palermo is missing this conference. Italy is missing this conference, Sebastiano Mercadante, our host in Palermo, is missing this conference.
So we need to exercise compassion and closeness. Compassion towards ourselves, our patients, their family, our colleagues who on the front line have been fighting, are still fighting, to save lives and to give relief in the meagre course of acute respiratory failure. To support families who cannot join together, who cannot even meet or hold the hand of somebody who is imminently dying alone.
We have to be proud as a palliative care community because the palliative care community is affected by this situation. We are seeing the effects. I have shared the experiences of many palliative care professionals: physicians, nurses, psychologists. We have to see and to reflect what this experience has to teach to us as palliative care professionals. What can we contribute with our palliative care competence and research?
Therefore come to this conference, contribute. Send your contribution about the impact of the pandemic on palliative care. We are allocating special space, a special session about this difficult topic. So what about our values and our responsibilities? Well I think that our second reason why our research conference is so important in this extraordinary circumstances is that palliative care needs, the needs of patients and families affected by incurable illnesses are still there, are waiting for our appropriate responses.
How can we guarantee that in front of the pandemic emergency, palliative care is still available to those who need it? In the last 3 months we have been fighting, we have been afraid to be infected, we have been afraid to infect our patients. And for this reason I invite you even more to emphasise the needs as a palliative care community to reflect on our values, on our research and clinical commitment. I am sure we can do it, I am sure we can all do it together in this online research conference.
Join with me, with all our fellows from all over the world, to share our experiences, to continue to update our research priorities, not to add another paper to our CV, not to increase our impact factor but to improve our patients care and quality of life.
In this EAPC conference to come, while we will miss the beautiful blue sky and the warm welcoming of Palermo we will have the opportunity to reflect on what is essential in palliative care and share our thoughts. Therefore please come to the conference with me, be with us in numbers. Bring your experiences from the bedside from your research data. Be proud of your work and of our values.

‘You should accept the demand and need to teach, and must look at what you are doing on an objective basis. Add research when and where you can.’ 

Cicely Saunders.