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SONMS Professors at EONS 8 in Geneva

18 June 2012

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies Professors Daniel Kelly and Jane Hopkinson were both interviewed by ecancer at The European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS)  8th  Spring Convention, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland in April.

The biennial Convention brings together European cancer nurses from many fields of expertise to share their experiences and expertise in a mix interactive sessions, lectures and collegial interactions. The format is specifically designed to meet the needs of nurses working in the field of cancer care, education and research.

Speakers at the Convention in Geneva presented on the latest trends and developments within the field, including personalised cancer care, personalised medicine and genomic information, early detection and prevention, management of skin cancer and skin problems, symptom management with focus on chronic pain, patient empowerment, nutrition during cancer treatment and critical care.

Professor Kelly and Professor Hopkinson were interviewed by ecancer as part of the event. ecancer is an oncology channel committed to improving cancer communication and education.

Understanding involuntary weight loss

Professor Hopkinson spoke to ecancer about the Macmillan Weight and Eating Studym which surveyed over 300 patients and found that over two thirds of patients have difficulty with family members regarding eating habits and weight loss. Prof  Hopkinson led part of the studies and reported two key findings:

  1. The patient’s need to understand what an appropriate diet would be for them while experiencing weight loss.
  2. The need for nurses to support and educate families on how they might support a patient dealing with involuntary weight loss.

The causes for this type of weight loss are the cancer itself, bodily problems such as swallowing difficulties or sore throat, and psychosocial pressures. Prof Hopkinson stressed the need to move past giving advice and consider the emotions and negative feelings that patients have when they have no control over weight loss.

Developing new support services for young people with cancer

Prof Daniel Kelly made a number of key points during his interview with ecancer: 

Young people will have a different disease journey and are prone to different types of cancer than adults.
Awareness needs to be raised about symptoms in young people.
Specialist teenage cancer units have been set up in the UK funded by charity which include psychosocial care to help patients deal with the emotional aspects as well as treating the cancer effectively.
Diagnostic delay studies and effective models of care can help in the future, bearing in mind that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to cancer care.

Professor Daniel Kelly is the School's RCN Professor of Nursing Research. His main research interests have focussed on the impact and experience of illness - primarily in the context of cancer and palliative care – as well as enhancing the potential of nursing and workforce issues.

Professor Jane Hopkinson is a Professor of Nursing within the School with a long standing interest in nursing practice development and research into supportive, palliative and end of life care.