This week, Palliverse will be hosting the @WePublicHealth rocur (“rotating curation”) Twitter account. You can read more about @WePublicHealth, “an experiment in citizen journalism meets public health”, over at Croakey blog.
This week, Palliverse will discuss a number of public health palliative care topics such as equitable access to palliative care in Australia/New Zealand and globally, access to essential pain medicines, Compassionate Communities, advance care planning, and more.
Palliverse’s Sonia Fullerton (@sonialf) and Craig Sinclair (@csinclair28) will also be tweeting from the 2015 Australian Advance Care Planning Conference (#ACPMELB15) in Melbourne on 24-25th November, and we’ll participate in the weekly global palliative care (#hpmglobal) chat at 11pm AEDT on Monday, 23rd November.
If you’re on Twitter and not already following @WePublicHealth, we strongly recommend you do. Each week, the account is hosted by a different community member or health professional, tweeting about various aspects of public health.
If you’re not on Twitter (why not?), you can still follow using the link https://twitter.com/WePublicHealth.
Please join in the conversation and help raise awareness about palliative care and public health. The @WePublicHealth audience is broad and no topics will be off limits!
Lastly, thanks to Melissa Sweet (@croakeyblog) for the chance to host – she is the one who inspired me to start the @Elissa_Campbell account in 2012.
At the risk of looking like a dunder-headed booby, as a clinician and not an academic, I used to not understand how public health related to palliative care. As we are not into preventing disease, or prolonging life as an end in itself.
But I did manage to sort myself out by steering away from this sort of definition:
“Public health: the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health”
and more towards this sort of thing:
“The dimensions of public health can encompass a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
So you can have an advanced disease but be as well as you can be physically, mentally and socially….
Did I get it right, you clever clogs people who know more about public health than I do?
I admire your candour, Sonia!
All I can say is that you should comment back on Friday night and tell us what you learn this week!
Thanks for sharing these honest thoughts Sonia. As a nurse I feel that, as clinicians in training, we weren’t as well prepared as we could be, to understand the social concepts of health and illness across the lifespan. Sadly, many hear the term ‘public health’ and understand it solely as an alternative to care provided bu ‘private health’ services; rather than its context of population health.
Even then, there can be confusion within the sphere of public health. And I think your first impressions reflect this potential – in that the classic public health perspectives have focused primarily on epidemiological concerns and the like. The so-called ‘new public health’ however, provides a broader perspective that is inclusive of the individual and health promotion within communities; and seeks to ensure equitable access to health services, whilst considering other determinants of health relating to the environment, political governance and social and economic development.
I am no clever clogs, but I do find it interesting to consider the relevance and implications of health promotion to the context of palliative and end of life care. For anyone interested in this, you can find plenty of reading on the resources page at the “Public Health and Palliative Care International” site:
Here you can download (for free) Allan Kellehear’s seminal book on this topic: “Health Promoting Palliative Care”:
Click to access 14d74a_195cc5fb820a4906bc9970abb87533cd.pdf
Thanks for the links Jason. I watched some of the plenaries from the Public Health Palliative Care conference this year (on YouTube! Sadly I wasn’t in Brighton) and they helped crystallise some of the things I’d been pondering about how palliative care (and ageing) fit into the broader community. There are so many public health and preventative health initiatives that would make health, and quality of life, better for everyone regardless of age or morbidity. Like better public transport, more green space, more walkable urban spaces, better access to fresh food, clean air, public art…okay now probably off on a late night ranty tangent.
Sonia – can you report back to us now?
Absolutely Elissa… I think I like the sound of where that tangent was heading! The interface of Arts and health is, I think, an interesting area for public health. Also, I forgot to mention that in regards to palliative care, prevention, harm-minimisation, early intervention, and issues of community participation/sustainability are key. Kellehear developed a ‘Big 7’ Checklist to guide HPPC activities, and these have been mapped into a flowchart (below) – it’s kind of ‘busy’ though.
Click to access activity-flowchart.pdf