2 April 2019

Patient and family care focus for motor neurone disease workshop, Bunbury

Caring for people with motor neurone disease (MND) was the theme of a recent workshop in Bunbury as part of a planned statewide educational program on this severely disabling and life-limiting disorder.

The program, targeting doctors, nurses and other health professionals, has been developed by Perron Institute Senior Research Fellow, Professor Samar Aoun, Professor of Palliative Care. It was delivered in partnership with the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Western Australia (MNDAWA).

Professor Aoun’s topics were psychosocial support for patients and families, and the palliative approach to care.

Neurologist Dr Robert Edis, who heads the motor neurone disease clinics at the Perron Institute, spoke about the functional changes that accompany this muscle-wasting disease and the management of symptoms.

The workshop also involved speakers from Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s Respiratory Department and WA’s Communication Assistive Technology Service (CATS) providing information and practical demonstrations on communication and respiratory assistance.

Christina Line, Education Coordinator at MNDAWA, organised the workshop and is working with Professor Aoun to roll out the program in WA.

Professor Aoun is an influential advocate for closer community involvement in palliative care, from diagnosis to end stage support. She has received national and international recognition over the years for her exceptional commitment to promoting better community engagement and health outcomes in this field.

“Although there is no cure yet for motor neurone disease, it is the subject of research worldwide. Much can be done to improve the quality of life and quality of care for those affected,” she said.

“The workshop series on MND has been designed to improve and share knowledge and build the capacity of health professionals and the community for better patient outcomes.”

Prof Samar Aoun Perron Institute