On 15-17 June, the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) had the opportunity to participate in the 23rd Congress of the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine (JSPM 2018) held in Kobe, Japan. It was the first time that the APHN had been invited by a sector to their local conference to set up an outreach booth.
The JSPM 2018 is one of the largest palliative care conferences in the world and this year’s conference theme was “Quality Palliative and End-of Life Care”. In line with the theme, doctors, nurses and researchers from Japan and overseas shared their experiences and expertise during the panel discussions, workshops and plenary sessions. More than 10 well-known palliative care researchers from around the world were invited. The conference provided a platform to promote non-cancer palliative care, to share information about how to organize community based palliative care in a hyper-aging society, research and clinical implementation of Advanced Care Planning (ACP) internationally, particularly in the Asia Pacific Region. This was also the first time the JSPM Annual Congress conference organized an ‘international day’ on the third day of the conference where outstanding world-class experts presented all the sessions in English..
The APHN had set up the booth with posters of collaborative research in Asia to reach out to potential future collaborators.
The booth allowed the APHN to showcase our activities and more importantly, bring to the awareness of thousands of participants the existence of APHN as there are still many palliative care experts in Japan who have never heard of APHN. Hence, the booth served as a stepping stone to raising awareness amongst Japanese palliative care professionals.
One of the posters described the ongoing APHN research project involving an international survey on Advanced Care Planning (ACP), which we hope will help to lay the foundation for the future development or implementation and research or education of ACP in many Asia-Pacific countries/regions. Dr Masanori Mori stopped by the booth and interacted with some visitors. Through the booth set up and interactions, many people now know about the opportunities for them to contribute towards the improvement of palliative care in the Asia and Pacific region. Through this experience, we have been able to reach out to more people and share about what we do at APHN, which was one of our main goals for this conference.
A dinner was organized to facilitate networking among the many healthcare professionals and we got to meet and interact with local palliative care colleagues where new friendships were forged.
We would like to thank Professor Yoshiyuki Kizawa for inviting APHN to the conference; it was a truly enriching experience.