2014 EAPM Conference Sibiu
Conference President: Prof. Dan Dumitrascu, Sibiu, Romania
CARE AND CURE – an integrated apporoach to psychosomatic medincine
Summary of the EAPM 2014 Sibiu Conference
The annual scientific meeting of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine was organized in Sibiu, a historic town in Transylvania, central Romania, from June 25–28, 2014. This was the second EAPM meeting after the merger of the European Association of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatics (EACLPP) and the European Network of Psychosomatic Medicine (ENPM). The venue was strategically selected in another extremity of Europe (the previous meeting was in Cambridge, UK) in order to facilitate the dissemination of the activities of EAPM and the participation of more delegates from Eastern Europe. The decision was sound, because, despite a less than expected participation from countries where psychosomatic medicine has an established tradition, many participants have attended a psychosomatic scientific meeting for the first time.
In total, there were 273 participants from 36 countries and 5 continents. As expected, the majority were Romanians (34%), followed by Germans (9%). From each USA and the Netherlands attended 5%, while 14% of the total participants were from outside Europe.
The scientific program included 257 submitted abstracts from 35 countries (210 poster abstracts and 47 abstracts for oral presentation). The abstracts were reviewed by 24 referents. Nineteen symposia were included in the program. Apart from that, 15 free papers sessions were organized. 87 posters have been selected for presentation.
The program started with two pre-conference meetings: the meeting of the Romanian Society of Psychosomatic Medicine and the meeting of the Romanian Balint Association. In the evening of the pre-conference day we invited two Romanian humanists, a philosopher and a theologist, to give special lectures on their perspectives of the Body–Soul problem. Aurel Codoban, from Cluj-Napoca presented on ‘Psyche versus Soma: about Body-Soul relationship in western culture: a history of a paradigm shift’, while Dorin Oancea, from Sibiu presented on ‘Essentials of a Perinatal Theology’.
The opening of the meeting included talks by the president of the EAPM, Wolfgang Söllner from Nürnberg; the president of the meeting, Dan L. Dumitrascu from Cluj-Napoca and the president of the local committee, Paul J. Porr from Sibiu.
The main topics of this meeting were: ‘Psychosomatics in the elderly population’ with as keynote speakers: Karl-Heinz Ladwig from Munich and Joris Slaets from Groningen, ‘Brain-gut axis and the psychosomatics in gastroenterology’, with keynote speakers Douglas Drossman, from Chapel Hill and Gabriele Moser, from Vienna, and ‘Psychosomatic Medicine and cultural change’ with keynote speakers Silvia Ferrari from Modena and Marta Novak from Budapest and Toronto.
The lecture by Douglas Drossman was evaluated as the best lecture of the meeting.
We invited speakers from the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine (ICPM) and the International Society of Behavioral Medicine (ISBM) to organize joint sessions with the EAPM for the first time. From ICPM we listened to the excellent lectures: ‘How to approach patients with somatization effectively’ by Kyung Bong Koh from Seoul and ‘Psychiatric aspects of chronic pain that will be useful to the C-L psychiatrist’ by Jon Streltzer from Honolulu.
The joint ISBM-EAPM symposium discussed ‘Psychological symptoms, stress at work and in the family as a focus of interventions in coronary heart disease’ and was chaired by Hans-Christian Deter from Berlin, Kristina Orth-Gomer from Stockholm and Adrienne Stauder, president of ISBM, from Budapest.
In premiere, the first ever Frits Huyse Award of the EAPM was awarded to Antonio Lobo form Zaragoza, for his life-time achievement in the field of C-L Psychiatry. The award was presented by Ulrich Malt (Oslo).
This year, the poster prizes went to Andrea Burri, from Zurich, for her study on ‘Chronic widespread pain’ and to Antonella Ciaramella, from Pisa, for her work ‘Relationship between psychiatric disorders, perception and coping of pain in chronic low back pain patients’.
The jury offered also a special poster award to Mihaela Ones from Cluj-Napoca for her poster ‘The modulation of preoperative anxiety by the cognitive avoidance mechanisms in surgical patients’.
The conference was well evaluated by the attendees. Overall, from the 46.5% of the participants who filled-in the evaluation forms, 78% considered that the conference met their expectations and would attend the next EAPM meeting. On a scale from 1 to 4 (on which 4 represents very good), the scientific program received a median mark of 3.5. Reasons mentioned for the positive evaluation were the practical orientation of the presentations and the fact that the program covered many diverse aspects of psychosomatic medicine. Suggestions were made to include more clinical case reports and to reduce the number of parallel sessions.
A good meeting needs to have social events as well. The participants have listened to a short but delicate concert of chamber music offered by the young “Intermezzo Quartet” in the first day and the visit of the ASTRA ethnic museum outside the city, followed by a typical Romanian diner with local food and wine and with folkloric music performed by the famous ensemble “Junii Sibiului”.
For most of the participants, who traveled to Romania for the first time, this was an excellent opportunity to continue with postconference tours.
The series of the EAPM annual meetings will bring to the center of Europe next year, to Nürnberg, Germany, where the meeting will take place from July 1 to 4, 2015.
written by Prof. Dan Dumitrascu and Prof. Wolfgang Soellner (D.L. Dumitrascu, W. Söllner / Journal of Psychosomatic Research 77 (2014) 562–563)