EAPC task force on education for psychologists (2011)

This Taskforce was created in May 2009 with a remit to improve education for psychologists in palliative care in Europe. The Taskforce activities were successfully concluded in September 2011 with the publication of the EAPC Expert Paper “Guidance on Postgraduate Education for Psychologists involved in Palliative Care”. 

Aims and Objectives 

Psychologists are an important professional group in palliative care and undertake different types of work, such as direct patient and family consultation, education, management, staff support, and/or research. However, their role, their core competencies and their professional identity in palliative care in many European countries are not very well established, yet. Therefore, the primary aim of this Taskforce was to gather information on the situation of psychologists in palliative care in different European countries. Further aims were the definition of core competences for psychologists working in palliative care in Europe, as well as the development of a framework for core curricula for psychologists working in different areas of palliative care.   


As a result of our Taskforce activities, a paper titled “The EAPC Task Force on Education for Psychologists in Palliative Care” has been published in the April 2011 issue of the European Journal of Palliative Care. This article provides important information on the situation of psychologists involved with palliative care, as well as on the background for the setting up of this task force. Click here to download a free pdf version of the paper. 
Based on the state of affairs highlighted in this paper, an outline for guidance on postgraduate education for psychologists in palliative care was created. Our Taskforce members were invited to give input to this guidance document with their expertise and their professional experience, and all co-authors supported the paper actively with their contribution. Click here to download a free pdf version of the paper. 



Since the very beginning of this initiative, there had been an overwhelming response from psychologists from all over Europe who offered their support and made valuable contributions and suggestions for our activities. We would like to express our sincere thanks for this response. 

The unexpectedly large response to our Taskforce activities has highlighted the demand for an international initiative for psychologists working in palliative care. The results of our Europe-wide survey have shown that despite the large number of psychologists working in this field there is a perception that the impact of psychological issues in palliative care and the role of psychologists in palliative care teams to date are not sufficiently acknowledged. 
We invite all those who wish to commit themselves to the improvement of education and support for psychologists in palliative care in Europe to follow up our activities and to carry on the work with specific goals. It is possible to make an application for a new Taskforce to the European Association for Palliative Care. 

We would like to thank all our members for their encouraging and inspiring support during the period of our activities. We would like to express our special thanks to all co-authors who have contributed to the EAPC Expert Paper “Guidance on Postgraduate Education for Psychologists involved in Palliative Care”. Last but not least we would like to thank Eva Eggenberger and Anthony Greenwood for their commitment and for their support of the Europe-wide survey among psychologists working in palliative care. 


We thank the British Psychological Association (http://www.bps.org.uk/) for awarding this Task Force with a grant of £2.000 each year in travel expenses for a period of 2 years 


The following documents are held under copyright by Hayward Group Ltd, publisher of the European Journal of Palliative Care. It may be downloaded for single academic use only. 



Saskia Jünger 
Health Scientist & Psychologist 
Department of Palliative Medicine, 
University Hospital Bonn, Germany 

Sheila Payne 
Health Scientist & Psychologist 
Director of the International Observatory 
on End of Life Care, UK 



Steering committee 
Jan Ablett – UK 
Ursula Bates – Ireland 
Anna Costantini – Italy 
Anna Giardini – Italy  
Mai-Britt Guldin – Denmark 
Rosalynde Johstone – UK 
Christina Liossi – UK 
Sandra Martins Pereira – Portugal 
Elzbieta Pożarowska – Poland 
Walter Rombouts – Belgium 
Claudia Wenzel – Austria 

Research Assistant 
Eva Eggenberger – Austria 

Associated group 

Bárbara Antunes – Portugal 
Oded Ayzenberg – Israel 
Vanessa Baio – Belgium 
Carolina Casañas i Comabella – Spain 
Benna Chase – Malta 
Gemma Costa Requena – Spain 
Susan Delaney – Ireland 
Jane Fletcher – Australia 
Maren Galushko M.A. – Germany 
Carol Gouveia Melo – Portugal 
Sue Hall – UK  
Deirdre Howley – UK 
Helle Johnson – Denmark 
Agnieszka Karpowicz – Poland 
Karen-Inge Karstoft - Denmark 
Orla Keegan – Ireland 
Shulamith Kreitler – Israel 
Christian Loffing – Germany 
Katarzyna Ludwin – Poland 
George Lyrakos – Greece 
Katarzyna Makara – Poland 
George Lyrakos – Greece 
Katarzyna Makara – Poland 
Inge Merete Manuel – Denmark 
Ana Marques – Portugal 
Kimberley Mc Laughlin – UK 
Katalin Muszbek – Hungary 
Cheryl Nekolaichuk – Canada 
Barbara Ninnemann 
Sergey Psyrnik – Russia 
Beate Riedel – UK 
Dolores Rius – Spain / Germany 
Anna Rodríguez Morera – Spain 
Birgit Ruzicka – Austria 
Anja Simonič – Slovenia 
Luzia Travado – Portugal 
Lieve Van den Block – Belgium 
Adriaan Visser – The Netherlands 
Elisabet Wasteson – Norway 
Sharla Wells-Di Gregorio – USA 
Elżbieta Wesołek – Poland 
Kirsty Williams 
Shelagh Wright – Ireland 
Tanja Zagar – Slovenia 


Advisory group 

Maria Die Trill (Spain) 
António Manuel Godinho Fonseca (Portugal) 
Christine Kalus (UK) 
María Antonía Lacasta Reverte (Spain) 
Martina Pestinger (Germany) 
Gustavo Francisco Rodio (Argentina)  
Teresa Salas Campos (Spain) 
Nigel Sage (UK) 
Boguslaw Stelcer (Poland)