Urology Week 2012: stone disease and patient information

Sun, 24 Jun 2012

The EAU invites national urological societies, hospitals, patient organisations, and others to participate in Urology Week on 17-21 September and help to increase awareness of urology and urological conditions. This year, the EAU will launch Patient Information on Kidney and Ureteral Stones during Urology Week – giving this 2012 edition a new angle and an opportunity to engage a different segment of the general public.Every year, numerous big and small events are organised all over Europe during Urology Week. The events demonstrate the creativity of contributors and their determination to give extra attention to urological conditions and the patients suffering from these conditions. Although the 2011 edition was very successful, the EAU is expecting this Urology Week to be even bigger.

Traditionally, the focus of Urology Week has been on prostate conditions and prostate cancer. A variety of events has been organised ranging from lectures to free prostate examinations, walks against cancer, discussions in local and national TV programmes, and a giant model of the prostate travelling from one European city to another. Such events have helped to increase public awareness of the prostate and prostate conditions and have made Urology Week a success.

This year the EAU shifts its attention from the prostate to stone disease. Urolithiasis is a common condition with, in some cases, extremely painful symptoms. While not all risk factors for urolithiasis can be reduced, there are a number of practical recommendations that can be communicated to the general public. This makes it a suitable topic for Urology Week. The EAU provides this year’s contributors with support materials consisting of informative posters on dietary habits to help to prevent stone formation and patient information leaflets on kidney and ureteral stones. With this, Urology Week will mark the official launch of EAU Patient Information.

EAU Patient Information

EAU Patient Information is the first initiative of a larger patient information and education platform. It falls under the direction of Prof. Hein Van Poppel, who is responsible for all EAU educational activities. The goal of EAU Patient Information is to encourage doctor-patient dialogue by giving patients plain language information which is in line with the EAU Guidelines. The first medical condition EAU Patient Information covers is kidney and ureteral stones; information on other conditions will follow.

EAU Patient Information on Kidney and Ureteral Stones aims to provide European stones patients and their families with easy accessible, evidence-based, and up-to-date information on their disease. Eventually, this initiative will enable all European patients to get the same reliable information, translated into their native language and understandable for the general public.

The information will be launched during Urology Week. It will be available online and can be downloaded and printed for personal use. There is a set of in-depth information leaflets which discusses all aspects of upper urinary stone disease, including causes and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options. The texts are accompanied by custom-made explanatory illustrations. In addition to the in-depth information, there is a “pocket version” which informs patients about the most important aspects of kidney and ureteral stones without going into too much detail. This gives the patient some control over how much information he or she wants to have about their condition.

EAU Patient Information is a collaborative project in which the European Association of Urological Nurses (EAUN), EAU Section Office, EAU Guidelines Office, urological national societies, and patient organisations are involved. Because the information is meant for the general public, Urology Week is the perfect moment to launch EAU Patient Information.

Get involved in Urology Week

Although this year’s Urology Week support materials are about stone disease, the EAU backs all events on other urological conditions. Every initiative, big or small, that will help to increase awareness of urological conditions is encouraged. Here are some suggestions on how to make Urology Week events a success.

Media exposure is an important element and might determine the subject and scope of organised events. It is well known that events which focus on urological cancers, and prostate cancer in particular, generate much media attention. At the same time, if an event is well-organised and properly promoted, it can attract the attention of the media regardless of the topic.

In some countries there is much national press coverage of Urology Week, while in others it is more challenging to get the media’s attention. In the latter case, local events can be very successful because local newspapers or TV channels are generally interested in promoting and reporting on them.

Check www.urologyweek.org for more practical tips on how to organise an event, read about previous events and campaigns, and download available support material. The July issue of European Urology Today also includes a centrefold poster for Urology Week.

Please register all events on the website. Step up and join the campaign!

Contact information:

Urology Week: Ivanka Moerkerken i.moerkerken@uroweb.org

EAU Patient Information: Monique van Hout m.vanhout@uroweb.org

This article is featured in the forthcoming issue of European Urology Today.