At a well-attended seminar on 30th March, academics from Universities of Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium presented at University of Lincoln.
Sibyl Anthierens (medical sociologist working at the University of Antwerp) presented on “Benzodiazepines: sleeping through the problem”. This included works on the perceptions of general practitioners, patients and nurses on initiating (or avoiding) benzodiazepines in primary care.
This was followed by Thoen Anke (general practitioner) speaking about e-learning, specifically an interactive e-module including several tools and interventions useful within a benzodiazepine-consultation to support GPs.
Prof Thierry Christiaens (general practitioner, clinical pharmacologist and professor of general practice) then described an experimental real-life training programme set up with a simulation patient to look at the effect of possible interventions/tools within a benzodiazepine consultation.
Finally, Hanne Creupelandt (clinical psychologist) spoke about interactive meetings taking place with GPs in local quality groups discussing the non- pharmacological approach of insomnia, anxiety, stress and benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Good working links have been formed with our European colleagues in Belgium particularly in the area of insomnia and benzodiazepines and we plan to build on this with future work.