European Partnership Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) Joint Action

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The European Partnership Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) was a pan-European Joint Action (JA) launched by the European Commission to reduce the disease burden caused by cancer across Europe through a concerted, multi-pronged effort. This included health promotion and prevention, screening and early diagnosis, treatment and care as well as research.

EPAAC ran from February 2011 to February 2014. All 27 European member states were involved, along with Bosnia, Norway, Switzerland and the US. There were 35 associated partner organisations and 95 collaborating partner organisations.

EONS was involved in Work Package 7, Healthcare. A tool for translating research evidence into clinical practice had already been developed by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) in the US. It was called the Putting Evidence into Practice (PEP) tool. EONS began working with EPAAC to adapt this tool for European oncology nurses.

The Euro PEP team was led by Professor Sara Faithfull and Anita Margulies. They implemented the Euro PEP project in two phases.

Phase one

Five panels of experts were brought together to evaluate and adapt the PEP guidelines in the management of five clinical symptoms: radiodermatitis, lymphoedema, dyspnoea, peripheral neuropathy and pain. The process had three steps:

  • Independent review of the ONS PEP on each symptom
  • Peer review of the proposed changes by each review team
  • Consolidation of the final recommendations in the EuroPEPs material during a meeting by the PEPs symptom group leads in Geneva on 27 April 2012.

The EuroPEPs were translated into German, Dutch and French.

Phase two

EPACC / EPAAC PEP workshop in Brussels - delegates

The key activities, events, milestones and results of the programme were:

EPAAC kickoff meeting, Barcelona - Sara Faithfull presented the EONS project to members of the Joint Action

Partners meeting, Madrid - Anita Margulies introduced the EuroPEPs process

PEPs review meeting, Geneva - the PEP review material was consolidated into Euro PEPs. This was done by Anita Margulies, Sara Faithfull and the expert panel leads: Lena Sharp, Barry Quinn, Awni Daibes and Margaret Sneddon.

EuroPEPs implementation workshop, Brussels, 21-22 September 2012. This involved editing and printing the Euro PEPs material as a workbook in four languages, then introducing it to a selected group of 15 practicing cancer nurses and their managers. Experts shared best practice on how to develop and implement guidelines for symptom management. A report on this event is available from the Further Information section of this page.

EuroPEPs second implementation workshop, Brussels, 3-4 October 2013. This followed up on the success of the first workshop and focused on implementing the newly adopted guidelines, particularly in the Central and Eastern European context. 10 nurses and managers participated, learning about the most recent evidence for symptom management along with the latest recommendations on practice change. The expert faculty offered practical coaching in smaller groups, focusing on self -assessment and the skills required for the implementation of guidelines along with reflections on practice development. There was discussion of clinical issues as well as examples of implementing new symptom management strategies.

Workshop participants were asked to implement one of the Euro PEP guidelines in their in their own hospital or clinical setting within 3 months of the workshop and provide a short evaluation.

The EONS project team secured additional funding to extend the translation of the Euro PEPs material into Croation and Slovenian. This was co-funded by EPAAC. EONS also obtained further support for a second workshop to reach out to ‘hard to reach’ populations in Central and Eastern Europe and promote good practice in symptom management in cancer care. This is part of a broader initiative to tackle inequalities in health services in Europe through the implementation of clinical guidelines to improve subsequent patient outcomes. Fundamental to this is sharing of best practice and available evidence among European Oncology nurses and managers to enhance symptom management. To increase participation of nurses from Central and Eastern Europe in the workshop, the accommodation costs of CEE participants were covered by the organisers and a travel stipend was offered.

More details about the workshop is available in the Further Information section of this page.