|Yoshiyuki Kizawa, President
In June 2018, I was appointed as President of the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine (JSPM). With Japanese society experiencing unprecedented aging and high death rates, we now need to focus on how we can provide “quality end-of-life care” in addition to conventional treatment, prevention of illness, and medical care that intends to maintain and improve function. What kind of role can the JSPM play in this situation?
I would like to focus the activities of the JSPM on the following three aims to address these challenges:
1) Enabling the provision of palliative care at the right time to those who need it;
2) Working to evaluate, maintain, and improve the quality of specialized palliative care in Japan;
3) Promoting research activities contributing to the improvement of symptom management, quality of life (QOL), and quality of death and dying (QODD).
Below is a detailed explanation of these aims:
1) Enabling the provision of palliative care at the right time to those who need it
(1.1) Specialized medical care interventions combining palliative care from an early stage with distress screening are a representative example of the concept of integrating palliative care with specialized medical care.
(1.2) Providing palliative care, regardless of illness, is also a significant goal to undertake. While we understand palliative care for heart failure, COPD, neuromuscular diseases, and dementia, another crucial perspective is how to handle aging and care for older adults. Within this perspective, we can gain more in-depth knowledge from the development of palliative care based upon family medicine in other countries.
(1.3) It is also essential to consider an ideal service provision model to offer both of primary palliative care and specialized palliative care and these collaboration. We must also improve primary palliative care for other illnesses and conditions, besides cancer.
2) Working to evaluate, maintain, and improve the quality of specialized palliative care in Japan
(2.1) We aim to implement a specialized palliative care quality evaluation, maintenance, and improvement process (audits); the types of patients, pain, suffering and symptom relief, treatment approaches, and results of palliative care in Japanese specialized services providing such care will be regularly examined using a unified evaluation method. Based on this, we can develop an understanding of what specialized palliative care achieves in Japan. This initiative could also clarify research topics we need to address by identifying intractable symptoms and conditions.
(2.2) We must promote the development of specialists, beginning with those providing palliative treatment, and make further progress in building a specialized training system to improve the quality of palliative care.
3) Promoting research activities contributing to the improvement of symptom management, quality of life (QOL), and quality of death and dying (QODD)
(3.1) As a society, determine the research issues that must be address based on the audits and structure a system supporting such research that contributes to improvement in QOL and QODD.
(3.2) Improve research and clinical work through further enhancing academic conferences and providing opportunities to exchange information with front-line researchers in Japan and overseas.
To steadily put these activities into practice, based on opportunities for the president and representatives to discuss the palliative care that the JSPM strives for, we will first establish a future action plan and announce its progress to our members. It is my wish that members of the JSPM will work wholeheartedly, with common principles and goals, toward achieving these goals in palliative care clinical work, research, and training. I look forward to your cooperation and guidance.
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
Department of Palliative Medicine, Kobe University Hospital
Non profit organization (NPO)
Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine Secretariat
1-4-8 Nichiei Bldg. 603B, Tosabori, Nishi-ku,
Osaka 550-0001, Japan
PHONE : +81-6-6479-1031 / FAX : +81-6-6479-1032