By Dr. Susan Cadell
Feature Article: Haskamp, A., Scanlon, C., Hill, A., & Hatton, A. (2018). Storytime with pediatric palliative care: A community self-care strategy. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
Other Feature Articles Referenced: Krikheli, L., Mathisen, B. A., & Carey, L. B. (2017). Speech–language pathology in paediatric palliative care: A scoping review of role and practice. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology,
Levy, K., Grant, P., Byrwa, D., Depner, R., & Tenzek, K. (2018). Introduction to a novel social media-based meaning intervention for caregivers of children and adolescents receiving palliative care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management,
It immediately jumped out at me from this month’s list of citations that 9 of the 24 citations were abstracts for conference presentations. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) hold a joint annual Assembly. (The Social Work Hospice Palliative Network or SWHPN hold a conference just before this joint conference. The conversation is ongoing about the three joining for a truly interprofessional conference.)
The nine abstracts cover a wide array of topics in pediatric palliative care, ranging from case studies to communities, patients to caregivers and all with a variety of methods. I did not attend that conference but seeing these makes me wish that I did. (I attended the SWHPN conference where there were a number of pediatric presentations including a four-person keynote, of which I was honoured to be part.) Now I am left hoping that these presenters will turn these presentations into publications somewhere.
While I love and thrive on conferences and the conversations that can happen in presentations when I give or see them, the reality is that publications can be accessed by a much wider larger audience over a longer period of time. Publications can be blog posts, webinars, newsletters, or any sort of online repository of reports, not just journal articles. Social media can be used very effectively to promote resources and make them even more widely accessible. The beauty of social media is that anyone with internet anywhere in the world can access it so its reach includes patients and families as well as clinicians and researchers. As an academic, I need to remind myself of this because I tend to default to peer-reviewed journals. I had a colleague in my early tenure-track days who used to talk about the conversion rate of scholars turning conference presentations into journal articles. While not everyone in this field works under the same job circumstances and pressures, and that comment pre-dates the advent of social media, it still has an important message. It reminds us that there are many innovative practices and projects that get presented at conferences that deserve a wider audience than just those folks who could afford the time and money to travel to a specific conference.
In general, the abstracts in this month’s list represent topics of interest that demonstrate the depth and breadth of palliative care. I hope that some or all of the authors of these presentations will be encouraged to “convert” their presentations into some form of publication with more enduring and wider access. If you know any of these authors, please let them I know that I, for one, am interested.