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    ELF patient organisation programme

    The European Lung Foundation (ELF) brings together patients and the public with respiratory professionals to positively influence lung health. ELF works all year round with a network of national and European patient organisations who take part in the ERS International Congress.

    The aim of having patient organisations at Congress is to:

    • Present the patient perspective in scientific and educational sessions
    • Promote the role of patient organisations
    • Strengthen the European community of respiratory patient organisations
    • Encourage professionals to engage with patient organisations
    • Promote the wider participation of patients and patient organisations in healthcare worldwide

    Sessions available pre-Congress

    Session title Summary Session type Patient role
    Challenge and success in a patient centered Clinical Research Collaboration

    A look at how physicians and patients manage to work and communicate together to produce a successful Clinical Research Collaboration.

    Expert view Patient speaker

    Lung cancer or cancer of the lung

    A discussion about different care pathways for people with lung cancer, who should manage their care, and whether pulmonologists can keep up to date with new tests and treatments.

    Expert view
    Managing stable, severe COPD

    A look at how to manage the care of patients with stable but severe COPD, including the different risk factors and types of treatment, and managing other health conditions.

    Expert view
    Mechanisms regulating lung diseases across the lifespan

    The latest scientific discoveries on lung health, including how events before birth and during childhood can affect lung health, how factors such as diet and genes can influence the severity of childhood asthma, how factors such as lifestyle and environment affect the development of COPD and the similarities between lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

    Year in review

    Physiotherapy in chronic respiratory infections

    A look at whether respiratory physiotherapy can prevent exacerbations (flare-ups) and reduce the effect of chronic infections in patients with lung diseases, including COPD, bronchiectasis, asthma and cystic fibrosis.

    Expert view
    The changing and challenging landscape of the global tobacco epidemic: from vaping to cannabis?

    A look at how the use of nicotine and cannabis products has changed; how new cannabis, tobacco and nicotine products might affect health, and why we should involve respiratory health care providers, researchers, patients and the public in the cannabis legalisation debate.

    Hot topics
    The role of patients in medicine

    This session explains how and why patients should represent themselves and others in areas such as research, guideline production, advocacy and conferences such as the ERS Congress.

    Expert view Patient speaker

    Monday 7 September

    Time Session title Summary Session type Patient role
    10:40-11:40 Antibiotic resistance: the way forward

    Why patients experience antibiotic resistance and how patients’ own immunity could be used to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

    Symposium Patient speaker

    10:40-11:40

    Respiratory diseases in children and adults How events before birth and during childhood can lead to respiratory disease; what factors might lead to the progression of lung disease in patients with cystic fibrosis; and the difficulties of treating lower respiratory tract infections. Symposium
    14:20-15:20 Severe thoracic sarcoidosis: where do we stand?

    A look at how pulmonary fibrosis can develop in sarcoidosis, the risk factors for severe pulmonary sarcoidosis, how to identify the patients with severe pulmonary sarcoidosis who are the most unwell and how to manage cardiac sarcoidosis.

    Symposium
    14:30-15:30 Lung health and respiratory function at all ages

    The different ways of improving breathing and lung health, including ways of measuring how well the lungs are working.

    Symposium
    14:30-15:30 Updates in cystic fibrosis

    The latest scientific developments in cystic fibrosis (CF). Includes managing lung infections; pancreatic and liver disease in people with CF; difficulties in making sure patients follow their treatment; social and emotional well-being, and new treatments.

    Joint session
    15:40-16:40 Innovations in airway innervation: treatments for chronic cough

    A look at the nerves in the airway and how new treatments for chronic cough target these nerves, plus an explanation of  cough reflex hypersensitivity.

    Hot topics
    15:40-16:40 Sleep and breathing disorders: From screening to optimal management

    An overview of research into sleep and breathing disorders from the past 30 years and a look at new topics and developments.

    State of the art session
    16:40-17:10 Smoking, nicotine and COVID-19 myths and facts. What is the evidence?

    Exploring the relationship between smoking, nicotine and COVID-19, including whether smoking worsens the disease, whether exhaled cigarette smoke can transmit COVID, and recent findings from research and how they may affect public health.

    Expert view
    18:00-19:00 Exercise and sleep: from impaired function to new therapeutic strategies

    The effect that exercise has on sleep disorders, and managing these disorders using exercise.

    Symposium
    18:00-19:00 Rethinking Asthma

    A look at asthma management, including treatment for mild asthma; biological therapies for severe asthma; why some patients don’t respond to treatment, and severe neutrophilic asthma.

    Hot topics

    Tuesday 8 September

    Time Session title Summary Session type Patient role
    9:30-10:30

    Exciting new developments in lung cancer screening, diagnostics and treatment

    New scientific developments, including how different microorganisms affect lung cancer, immunotherapy for small cell lung cancer, and non-invasive treatment of breathlessness and pain.

    Hot topics

    9:30-10:30

    Reducing the burden of asthma

    How to lessen the impact of asthma on daily life, including identifying what could worsen or reduce asthma; treatments that target asthma genes, and managing severe asthma in children.

    Journal session

    10:40-11.40

    Cystic fibrosis: from cradle to old age

    A look at the biology of cystic fibrosis (CF) and caring for patients with the disease. Includes lung inflammation; moving from adolescent to adult care; gastrointestinal problems; other illnesses that patients with CF may have, and changes in who gets CF and how they are cared for.

    Symposium

    10:40-11.40

    From symptoms to diagnosis in primary care - part I

    How doctors can choose the best way to diagnose and treat patients with common respiratory symptoms, such as breathlessness, and how doctors can support events such as No Smoking Week.

    Primary care session
    11:50-12:50 From symptoms to diagnosis in primary care - part II

    More ways in which doctors can choose the best way to diagnose and treat patients with common respiratory symptoms, including an overview of the frequency and causes of lung diseases, other illnesses that lung patients might have, drug treatments for patients who have COPD together with other illnesses, the circulation and the lung and managing lung diseases in pregnant women.

    Primary care session
    11:50-12:50 How much lung disease is really caused by work, and how to assess the worker who wishes to continue working?

    How the work environment can affect lung health, including how work-related lung diseases can be better recognised and treated, and how to look after these patients in the workplace.

    Symposium
    11:50-12:50

    Is there a problem with...? Treatment approaches in asthma and COPD

    A look at concerns about the use of short-acting beta-2 agonist (SABA) monotherapy and oral corticosteroid (OCS) in asthma and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in COPD, and the best inhalation device for patients with COPD.

    State of the art session
    11:50-12:50 Lung transplantation in the era of new drugs?

    A look at new treatments for patients with pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung diseases and cystic fibrosis and how this can affect lung transplants.

    Symposium
    14:30-15:30 Fear and anxiety, psychological wellbeing and prevention of psychological distress in chronic lung diseases

    How fear and anxiety can affect asthma and COPD, and a look at new care and treatments that could help, including behavioural treatment and e-health.

    Symposium Patient speaker
    15:40-16:40 Air pollution and interstitial lung disease: a call to arms

    A look at asthma management, including treatment for mild asthma; biological therapies for severe asthma; why some patients don’t respond to treatment, and severe neutrophilic asthma.

    Symposium
    15:40-16:40 Don't blame your parents: causes of pulmonary hypertension in early life

    Recent scientific discoveries in genes and pulmonary hypertension, and how other lung developmental disorders might lead to pulmonary hypertension.

    Symposium
    15:40-16:40 Precision endotyping of asthma: time for action

    A description of the different types of asthma and how they are diagnosed and treated. Includes a patient perspective.

    Respiratory medicine meets other disciplines
    16:50-17:50 Bugs' secrets: the way the microbiome changes our future

    A summary of what we know about the microbiome – the bacteria and other organisms that live in the body - and its effect on lung health.

    Hot topics
    16:50-19:00

    Clinical Grand Round: revisiting current guidelines

    A look at controversial aspects of the current guidelines in cough, community-acquired pneumonia, surgery for lung cancer and pulmonary embolism.

    Grand round

    18:00-19:00

    When the lung gets stiff: Diagnosis, treatment and controversy

    A look at interstitial lung disease (ILD), including how idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis develops and is treated and diagnosed, how diseases such as scleroderma, sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to pulmonary fibrosis and treatment of ILDs that get worse very quickly.

    Journal session

    Wednesday 9 September

    Time Session title Summary Session type Patient role
    9:30-10:30

    Insights from wearable respiratory sensors and AI

    How wearable sensors can improve treatment and care for conditions such as COPD and sleep apnoea, and how artificial intelligence helped provide data about the COVID pandemic.

    Hot topics

    9:30-10:30

    Thoracic oncology

    The latest scientific developments on how to manage lung cancer and other tumours of the thorax.

    State of the art session

    11:50-12:50

    Digital health: a brave new world?

    How digital technology, such as sensors, monitors, and artificial intelligence, can improve the treatment and care of lung diseases. Includes a patient perspective.

    Symposium Patient speaker

    11:50-12:50

    Interstitial lung diseases (ILD) and beyond

    The latest scientific developments in diagnosis and treatment of ILD, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis and the role of genetics in ILDs.

    State of the art session
    15:40-16:40 Improving the delivery of tobacco-use treatment: Successful stories in European and non-European countries

    An overview of different methods to help patients stop smoking and how these methods can work with other health systems. Includes a patient perspective.

    Symposium Patient speaker
    16:50-17:50 The future of bronchiectasis management

    A look how early life can affect the development of bronchiectasis, and new and future treatments for the disease.

    Symposium

    18:00-19:00

    Managing frailty in patients with acute or chronic lung disorders

    A definition of frailty and its connection with lung disease, and how rehabilitation therapy can help.  

    Symposium

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