ACNAP 2023 highlights the artistic and scientific dimensions of cardiovascular care

Hear from patients, nurses and allied health professionals about hot topics in cardiovascular disease at ACNAP 2023, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

The annual congress of the Association of Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions (ACNAP), a branch of the ESC, takes place 23 and 24 June at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), UK. Explore the scientific program.

Novel findings will be presented in the scientific abstracts on a wide range of subjects. Including digital health, depression, anxiety and lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, diet and smoking. Scientific sessions cover contemporary issues in heart health from prevention to rehabilitation and encompassing areas such as climate change, diversity and advocacy.

Does dog companionship improve heart health? Don't miss the session on how pet ownership affects physical and psychological well-being, with a chance to meet working therapy dogs. Dr. Eleni Kletsiou, chair of the Congress Programme Committee, said: "There is evidence that companion pets improve the care experience in hospital and in the community. There is also a direct relationship between looking after an animal and wellbeing as it encourages physical activity and provides an avenue to share feelings and thoughts. This is important for heart health, which has strong links with psychological health."

Also on the agenda: climate, environment and cardiovascular health. Including the potential relationship between extreme heat events and cardiovascular disease, and environmental triggers of heart attacks.

We will hear the latest evidence on how environmental factors impact cardiovascular health and the role of nurses and allied health professionals in combatting climate change."

Dr. Eleni Kletsiou, Chair of the Congress Programme Committee

Also on the agenda: diversity and inclusion in cardiovascular care. With topical issues such as the experience of Black and minority ethnic staff working in healthcare, sexism in the cardiology workforce, and how to recruit diverse participants into clinical trials. Dr. Kletsiou said: "The research evidence from clinical trials guides our practice. It is essential to recruit diverse participants so that the evidence also applies to them."

Psychological care is gaining increasing focus. Get up-to-the-minute information on how to screen for anxiety and depression, and the importance of patients sharing their perspective in their own words. "Nurses are interested in caring for the patient as a whole, including physical, mental, spiritual and social needs," said Dr. Kletsiou. "Psychological and physical health are interconnected - for example, depression increases vulnerability to heart disease and vice versa. In this session we will also hear about mental health care from a patient's point of view."

The congress theme is "Putting our hearts into patient care", which reflects the artistic and scientific dimensions of cardiovascular practice. "Nursing is an art and a science," said Dr. Kletsiou. "Science refers to providing evidence-based care that is driven by data from state-of-the-art clinical trials. Art is about quality of care, compassion, and communication. Effective communication means listening, and responding to, patients' needs and concerns. That is why we have patients speaking throughout the scientific program about their experiences and care needs."

Innovative approaches to the delivery of cardiovascular care will be explored in a dedicated session, covering apps, avatars and exergaming. "Apps will become the conventional way of providing some aspects of healthcare in the future," said Dr. Kletsiou. "They enable patients to feel more independent while at the same time being able to interact with their healthcare professional to increase physical activity, reduce stress, improve diet or quit smoking."

Stay tuned for sessions on the role of cardiovascular nurses and allied health professionals in preventing cardiovascular disease around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and how advocacy can improve cardiovascular health. Dr. Kletsiou said: "ACNAP 2023 will host health professionals and scientists from more than 40 countries, making this a truly global meeting with an international outlook. Here we will explore the critical role of nurses and allied professionals in improving global cardiovascular health and informing policy development, and hear why healthcare professionals need to partner with patients to advocate effectively."

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