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conferences and talks

Alison Cameron: NIHR INVOLVE—changing landscapes

8 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

alison_cameronpicI have been attending a great many healthcare conferences of late—to the extent that they have rather merged into one.

A common thread running through all of them has been the claims of varying degrees of co-production and patient centredness. As a long term patient, who has spent many a year occupying the “patient corner” (near the door) at various events, I am always keen to see how this plays out in reality. more…

Corinna Hawkes: ICN2—a starting point for preventing malnutrition in all its forms?

28 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

Corinna HawkesIt was pouring with rain when I arrived on a delayed flight to Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). But I was glad to have arrived at last. ICN2 had been a long time coming. Postponed for two years—it was originally scheduled for 2012, 20 years after the first ICN in 1992—preparations had been fraught and fractious. more…

Tackling a pandemic: Is Ebola the definitive lesson?

14 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

SAMSUNG CSCUntil recently, Ebola was rarely heard of in the developed world, but during the last few months, we are receiving such a high volume of daily information on Ebola virus disease (EVD) that this blog would have been different if written a few weeks earlier or later. It is worth noting that all The BMJ articles referring to the EVD outbreak have been made free of access.

Aser García Rada_BMJAs we have seen both in Spain and the United States—the first two countries dealing with EVD out of Africa—we share current ignorance in this field with most Western healthcare workers, politicians, journalists, and even scientific advisers. more…

Paul Wicks: Patients at the heart of quality of life research

7 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

paul_wicks“It seems to me,” said Parkinson’s patient and activist Jon Stamford, “that ‘quality of life’ is when you tell me what’s missing in my life. That seems to me to be rather odd.” This polite but piercing insight was shared on stage in 2012 at the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) in Budapest. Traditionally an academic and scientifically focused group, ISOQOL’s members specialize in the development and use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in academic studies, observational research, and clinical trials. more…

Wilm Quentin: NCDs and the private sector—part of the problem or part of the solution?

21 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

Wilm_QuentinOne of the last sessions of the European Health Forum Gastein aimed to find answers to the question of how to engage the private sector in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Gauden Galea, director of the Division of NCDs and Life-Course at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe, and organiser and moderator of the session, asked: “What are the first steps that we can take to activate the private sector in collaboration for NCD prevention and control?” more…

Anita Jain: Overdiagnosis—when is it too much care?

21 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

“Come over for a discussion on overdiagnosis and contribute your ideas to tackle it,” was the invitation. A diverse mix of doctors, nurses, researchers, public health practitioners, and students from countries across the world got together for our workshop at the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad.

Overdiagnosis, like many medical conditions, lacks clear parameters. How much is too much, really? more…

Kate Adlington: Should the UK move towards greater regulation of doctor-industry relations?

20 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

kate_adlington_picInternational interest in the interaction between physicians and industry has been mounting since the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) was passed in the United States in 2012. The first data made available as a consequence of this act were published last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The BMJ published their own rapid analysis of this information, which covers all payments made by US drug and device makers to US doctors in the last five months of 2013. more…

Desmond O’Neill: Sky disc and the marvel of ageing

7 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

desmond_oneillOne of the great challenges of hospital medicine is retaining a sense of the marvel of ageing after a busy night on general take. The sheer complexity of the frail, multimorbid, and delirious nonagenarian can easily rattle junior trainees. Seeing beyond the losses to the accumulated richness of life experiences demands insight, but can be teased out by powerful metaphors.

When teaching students and trainees, I often lean on late life creativity in the face of disability: Matisse in his wheelchair, Renoir with the paintbrush strapped to his arthritic hands, Klee and his scleroderma.

A different parallel struck me recently at the combined German, Austrian, and Swiss congress of gerontology and geriatric medicine in Halle, a modest-seeming city in former East Germany. more…

Helen Macdonald: Too much medicine—not a NICE business

23 Sep, 14 | by BMJ

helen_macDavid Haslam, chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, anticipated a difference of opinion as he addressed his audience at the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference last week. He knew that the audience would bring it up eventually, so he went head on into the controversial NICE guideline that lowered the threshold for cardiovascular risk prevention strategies in July—and more specifically made around one in four UK adults eligible for medical treatment with a statin.

He wrote in the conference programme that the dilemma posed by over and under diagnosis crossed “all manner of practical and ethical minefields.” I imagined that Haslam, as a medical leader of a major medical institution, would be in the midst of that minefield with his sleeves rolled up. But it seemed that his role at NICE simplified things, and instead he tiptoed uncomfortably around the edge. He said that the remit of NICE was to analyse the science and cost effectiveness only. The practical and ethical minefield that the guidelines created seemed not to be a NICE problem. more…

Emma Parish: Risky Business 2014—I choose to be optimistic

23 Sep, 14 | by BMJ

Emma-ParishLeaving the Risky Business event I was abuzz with enthusiasm to “choose my attitude,” “listen to the right people,” and treat patient safety “like lives depend on it.” However, it was not all buzzwords, tweeting, and chatting with celebrity speakers. It was a packed day, with lots of emotive content and key messages to change the current approach to healthcare.

Debra Searle’s description of her 3300 mile solo quest across the Atlantic, and her determination to survive to see her family, was inspirational. She was able to skilfully link her approach on that journey to the daily motivation needed to fulfil tasks and highlight how empowering choosing the right attitude can be. more…

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