2013 EAPM Conference Cambridge
Conference President: Dr. Peter A.Hindley, Cambridge, GB
First annual scientific meeting of the EAPM Cambridge 2013:
The inaugural annual scientific meeting of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine (EAPM) was held at Homerton College, Cambridge, UK from 04 to 06/07/2013. A striking setting with neo-Gothic buildings surrounding beautiful lawns, an English rose garden and a wild flower meadow. The main hub of the event was a large marquee, creating a wedding like atmosphere which was very fitting for the coming together of EACLPP and ENPM!
Prior to the main conference there was a joint meeting with the American Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine (APM). The joint EAPM/APM meeting was the first of its kind and focussed on collaborative care. World experts in the field (Wayne Katon, Jürgen Unutzer, Carsten Leue, Christoph Herrmann-Lingen, Michael Sharpe and Simon Gilbody) presented linked papers to an international expert audience, generating a vigorous debate and determination to promote the development of collaborative care internationally.
The main conference, Body and Mind: an all age approach to consultation liaison psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, had five main themes: neuroimaging and consultation liaison psychiatry (CLP) and psychosomatic medicine (PM); self-harm; collaborative care; transplantation psychiatry and psychology; and a cross cutting theme of child and adolescent mental health. There were a total of 350 delegates across the 4 days, from 34 countries, representing all of the continents bar Antarctica, with 16 different professional disciplines from psychiatrists and psychologists to veterinary scientists. There were 32 parallel sessions and symposia and over 100 poster presentations.
Professor Katya Rubia opened the Thursday afternoon plenary session with a comprehensive review of child and adolescent brain development, contrasting normal brain development with brain development in children and young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Professor Irene Tracey delivered a masterclass on brain functioning and the experience of pain and was followed by a beautifully clear talk on neuroimaging and conversion disorder by Dr Mark Edwards. The day was framed by a guest lecture on “The concept of symptom in psychosomatic medicine” from Professor German Berrios of Cambridge University.
On Friday morning Professor Nav Kapur gave a comprehensive overview of self-harm in adults. Dr Paolo Cianconi gave an anthropological account of self-harm in prison and in societies in collapse and Dr Dennis Ougrin presented the findings of a study of early intervention in young people who self-harm. The afternoon plenary session focussed on collaborative care with an overview of depression and cardiovascular disease from Professor Andrew Steptoe, followed by Professor Christoph Hermann-Lingen reporting findings from integrated care studies in cardiovascular disease. Professor Jürgen Unutzer completed the session by focussing on the implementation of collaborative care, outlining the key elements and the barriers that can prevent effective intervention.
On Saturday morning the final plenary session focussed on transplant psychiatry and psychology. Professor Andrea Di Martini gave a comprehensive overview of the field. Dr Alex Gimson explored ethical issues in relation to transplant, focussing, in particular, on the impact of a relative shortage of donor organs on clinical practice and ethics. Finally Professor Fabienne Doebbels gave a full picture of the difficulties facing children and young people with transplants, with a particular emphasis on problems and non-adherence and quality of life.
The conference was framed by suitably English social events. On the Wednesday evening scores of delegates were treated to a view of Cambridge from the Backs, taken down the River Cam in traditional Cambridge punts. They were treated to a slew of Cambridge stories: which Cambridge college did Prince Charles go to and how did his bodyguard get a better class degree than him; why is there a Bridge of Sighs at St John’s College; and how did Henry VIII pay for Trinity College (he stole it from the religious orders!). On Friday the traditional conference dinner was prefaced by an a capello choir singing madrigals in the rose garden — the moment when their voices rang out and all the conversation stopped was magical. The choir then opened the conference dinner with a haunting English grace. The dinner was held in a traditional style with long tables in parallel, set in the mock mediaeval hall with the portraits of past Principals gazing sternly at the festivities.
And then there was the final drama of the election of the EAPM’s officers. As ever Lisa Albrecht had organised everything beautifully but had not anticipated that a member of the Association would rightfully call for a secret ballot. Ballots and pens were hastily found and a full secret ballot conducted. It delayed Professor Berrios’ lecture by a few minutes but it was a fitting birth of the new Association (please, visit the EAPM website – www.eapm.eu.com – for further information).
written by Dr. Peter A.Hindley (P.A. Hindley / Journal of Psychosomatic Research 75 (2013) 582–583)