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Working meetings with a medical psychologist in Moscow

Olga Olegovna Poletayeva—a medical psychologist and representative of the working group on mental health of the European Society of Cystic Fibrosis, and Yulia Anatolyevna Shamanovskaya—assistant to the Chairman of the Board of the Fund and director of the NP Organization for Patient Care—arrived in Moscow in early July to participate in the Psychology program with the support of the Ostrova Fund.

During the working meeting, which lasted two days, they visited the FSBI Academician V.I. Shumakov National Medical Research Center for Transplantology and Artificial Organs and the paediatric department of the Russian Children’s Municipal Clinical Hospital.

A group session was held with the parents of children with CF who are currently being treated in the Russian Children’s Municipal Clinical Hospital; a seminar for doctors was organized that included a review of specific clinical cases. Individual patients with CF who were in serious health condition received individual consultations.

The issue of including a physician in a team of psychologists trained to work with CF remains a major concern. It is well-known that a patient’s health largely depends on his psycho-emotional state and his willingness to live and fight. Anxiety, fear, resentment, depression, panic attacks all significantly aggravate treatment or render it almost impossible. How should it be dealt with and how should the patient and his relatives be managed? How should the attending physician act in these situations? How should the severity of the disease be communicated? These and other important questions were discussed at the meetings.

Several years ago the Ostrova Fund launched the Psychology Program,  in which patients and families of patients with CF have the opportunity to seek personal advice from a professional psychologist. This  program is now expanding: it is transitioning from providing individual consultations to changing the overall situation in cystic fibrosis centers.