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Dignity therapy improves psychological well-being in cancer patients on palliative care

09 Jul 2019

Dignity therapy results in better psychological wellbeing among cancer patients under palliative care, a new meta-analysis has found.

Accessing 13 electronic databases, researchers identified English and Chinese studies that investigated the effects of dignity therapy or psychotherapy on dignity, psychological wellbeing and quality of life (QoL) outcomes in adults with cancer. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or those quasi-experimental in design were eligible for inclusion.

Ten articles describing eight individual studies were selected for the final analysis. All patients had incurable and advanced cancers of different types, such as respiratory, genitourinary, colorectal, breast and gastrointestinal. Only one study had a sample size 100.

Three RCTs reported results from the Patient Dignity Inventory, and significant pooled effects were found for the items of change in appearance (MD, –0.26, 95 percent CI, –0.50 to –0.02; p=0.03) and social support from family and friends (MD, –0.23, –0.39 to –0.07; p=0.004). Surveys also indicated improvement in sense of dignity when dignity therapy was administered after cancer therapy.

Pooled analysis also revealed that dignity therapy had small and nonsignificant beneficial effects on both depression (standardized MD [SMD], –0.24, –0.48 to 0.00; p=0.05) and anxiety (SMD, –0.26, –0.96 to 0.54; p=0.48).

However, in five studies, feedback questionnaires were administered to identify the perceived benefits of dignity therapy on patients. Those who received the intervention were more likely to note that dignity therapy was helpful to them and their families due to improvements in emotional and spiritual wellbeing, as well as sense of purpose and will to live.

Not enough evidence was available for a meta-analysis on the effect of dignity therapy on QoL, though studies included indicated that the impacts were insignificant.

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
Older women with longer endogenous oestrogen exposure and hormone therapy use are at much higher odds of having favourable cognitive status in late life, a recent study suggests.
4 days ago
In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and stable coronary artery disease (CAD), rivaroxaban monotherapy is noninferior to combination treatment with an antiplatelet therapy in terms of cutting the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, according to data from the AFIRE trial.
Elvira Manzano, 5 days ago
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin D3 for up to 5 years has no effect on kidney function in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the VITAL-DKD* ancillary study has shown.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 2 days ago
Many patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) in Thailand use anticoagulants, but the uptake of nonvitamin-K oral anticoagulants remains suboptimal despite showing an upward trend, according to data from the COOL-AF registry presented at the European Society of Cardioloy (ESC) Asia Congress 2019 with APSC and AFC.