Following the unfortunate but inevitable situation of cancelling of the meeting in Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UEMS PRM Section and Board went online to hold the General Assembly with workshops and plenary session from 26th do 28th March 2020, with over 50 delegates and experts.
Many thanks go to our colleagues in Bosnia and Herzegovina Gordana Stefanovski and Mirsad Muftić for organizing a meeting that had the prerequisites to be a great one. We held out until the end in the hope that the virus would not spread, but in the final analysis, we had to give in to ensure the safety of everyone.
In the previous six months, there were several notable moments. The first is the UEMS council, which took place in London in October 2019 during the days of Brexit definition hosted by the BMA. The BMA representative made a very thoughtful speech demonstrating how European collaboration has been crucial for the development of medicine in recent decades. These words today in the middle of a coronavirus emergency sound even louder because it is from our combined efforts that we could win this battle as well. During the meeting, we were very honoured by the recognition that we had. This recognition was the result of the work done by the UEMS-PRM group during these years and not just individual reward. Nicolas Christodoulou received the gold medal for his career spent in the development of rehabilitation in Europe and worldwide. Mauro Zampolini received award of a silver medal for activities at European and international level. Several issues were raised during the meeting. One is the importance of telerehabilitation and telemedicine, and nowadays even more evident, to help maintain contact with the patient, to support him/her in the treatment process, and to promote remote rehabilitation techniques. Another important event was the 3rd Cochrane Rehabilitation Methodology Meeting on Rehabilitation definition for research purposes. We continue to support the Cochrane Rehabilitation Field in particular through the ebook. The last but not least aspect is the one that emerged from the discussions of recent days regarding the Covid-19 emergency. This activity must be put in synergy with the actions of ESPRM because the problem does not belong to our group only, but to European and global rehabilitation. The first element is to rapidly develop indications and recommendations on the role of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in the approach to this emerging disease both during the acute and post-acute phase that we do not yet know well.
The work of the assembly proceeded online but in usual workshops of the three committees, Professional Practice Committee, Clinical Affairs Committee and the Board.
PPC continued the work on the Field of competences part III with following projects in various phases od completion: An update was given on the advancement in the following papers: Oncology (Ayşe Küçükdeveci), Cerebral palsy (Karol Hornáček), Neurodegenerative (Maria-Gabriella Ceravolo), Neuromuscular (Milica Lazović), Sarcopenia (Nikos Barotsis), Multiple Sclerosis (Martina Kővári). The following papers are still at a starting phase: Pregnancy (Carlotte Kiekens), Limb loss (Helena Burger). E-book project continued with the discussion of the third series of political statements and preparing ebook for launch in Belgrade at ESPRM2020 in September. The other different ongoing projects of Cochrane Rehabilitation were briefly presented: Prioritization project, Be4rehab (part of WHO – Package of Rehabilitation Interventions project), Rehabilitation Definition – a methodology meeting, RCT in Rehabilitation Checklist project (RCTRACK). Summary of the results for project “Standards for practice in Europe” was prepared to be published as a letter in EJPRM. Fellow project of the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine was presented: how we see the role of PRM physician in the end of life decisions in the different European countries. Updates on the project of Global roadmap for implementation of ICF across Europe were presented: Demonstration project on the application of ICSO-R to the European Framework for rehabilitation service types: Study to describe the rehabilitation services represented in the European Framework for rehabilitation services types by applying ICSO-R 2.0. Delegates of the different countries were invited to contribute to the project. Cultural validation of ICF simple intuitive description based tool (ICF Rehabilitation set): Other adaptations are ongoing.
CAC continued the work on the GLOBAL ROADMAP FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ICF ACROSS EUROPE: A preliminary paper has been drafted for the Individual Rehabilitation Project/Plan (IRP) which will determine structures and standardised rehabilitation. The framework will include interactions and case studies. Anda Nulle submitted a reaccreditation request for a PRM Programme for patients with Spinal Cord Injury in the post-acute phase (SCI Rehabilitation Unit, LATVIA). The value of developing a UEMS resource online to help guide uniform approaches in member countries to rehabilitation organisation and treatment strategies post Covid was discussed. It was agreed that a centralised location for shared information will be developed by UEMS-PRM to facilitate same.
Board reported that European Board Examination (BEX) was conducted online in all countries on November 29, 2019. A total of 118 candidates from 16 countries applied for the BEX 2019. With 3 absentees, 115 candidates were able to sit the exam. 90 out of 115 candidates passed the exam. The educational materials facilitating preparation for BEX and of the online Board Exam simulator was appreciated by BEX candidates. The registration of Candidates for 2020 Examination will be open on 1 May 2020 and the Board Exam simulator available to candidates by mid-July 2020. The registration deadline will be set up on 30 September 2020, as usual. The Board exam will be organized on the last Friday of November, 27th November 2020 at 09.00 GMT. The results will be disclosed to National Managers in mid-December 2020. The eligibility criteria for candidates will remain unchanged, as well as application fees: regular fee 200 Euro. The exam will be computer-based (CR or BYOL options available). Other certification (Fellows, Senior Fellows, Life fellows, Trainers, Training centres, Extraordinary certification of Training centres, Conditional endorsement of Training programmes, Accreditations of scientific events) were evaluated. M.G. Ceravolo presented the action plan emphasizing strategy to increase the number of Board Certified and Board Recertified Fellows and strengthen the position of PRM in clinical practice. To drive more countries to acknowledge BEX as a mandatory part of the national examination for achieving the status of PRM physician, a Letter to the Presidents of PRM National Societies was prepared and presented to NMs. Other important goals of the Letter are the enhancement of the achievement of required standards in PRM postgraduate and continuous education by the promotion of the European Training requirements in PRM, as well as widespread diffusion of White Book of PRM in Europe. A UEMS PRM Board Session “Fostering the highest educational standards in physical and rehabilitation medicine: The European PRM Board strategy” lasting 150 minutes will be organized during the ESPRM Congress held in Belgrade, September 2020. 15th Euro-Mediterranean Summer School “Pharmacological Management in PRM: set-up, synergies, uncertainties and evidence based knowledge in various pathologies” was announced and will be conducted in Syracuse; November 9-12, 2020.
Next General Assembly is scheduled in Autumn 2020: 30 September – 3 October 2020: Šibenik (Croatia).