News & Blog

Jo Kidd, healthtalk.org, 7th September 2015

BMA Patient Information Ethical Award for healthtalk.org

healthtalk.org's resource for families of people who are in a minimally conscious or permanently vegetative state (or 'coma') has been awarded first prize in the category of 'Information on Ethical Issues' at the British Medical Association (BMA) Patient Information Awards. 

The research for the resource was conducted by Celia Kitzinger (University of York) and Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff University). The sisters were inspired by their own family's experience to work with the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford and the team at healthtalk.org to create the resource. Both were at the awards ceremony at the BMA in London to collect the award along with Gunars Libeks and Margaret Kellas who took part in the research and served on the advisory panel for the project (all four pictured left).

Julia Parnaby Deputy Director, Research and Information, Alzheimer's Society reviewed the resource and said: "This is a tremendous resource, grounded in real experiences and demonstrating the power of hearing other people's experiences as a way to gain deeper understanding and insight of the issues surrounding this devastating and complex condition. There's a real depth of content and exceptionally powerful testimony from numerous family members and loved ones which creates a profoundly honest and singular resource which will offer wisdom, empathy, insight, pain and support to others. It demonstrates the chasm between the needs of loved ones for certainty and hope, and the extraordinary difficulty for doctors in making a meaningful prognosis, and thus will be of great value to both clinicians and families in sharing these insights and negotiating these dilemmas. Great care and planning have been exhibited in the creation of the resource with best in class consideration of how to promote it to clinicians and families. The families chosen reflect a genuinely diverse and authentic set of voices and it covers all stages and facets of this condition.  In over five years of reviewing for the awards this is the best resource I have seen and I would whole-heartedly recommend it for an award.”

See the full resource: 'Family Experiences of Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States'.

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