open access

Vol 12, No 4 (2018)
Case report
Published online: 2019-01-21
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Application of dignity therapy in an advanced cancer patient — wider therapeutic implications

Marta Łabuś-Centek, Anna Adamczyk, Agnieszka Jagielska, Beata Brożek, Michał Graczyk, Philip Larkin, Małgorzata Krajnik
DOI: 10.5603/PMPI.2018.0015
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Palliat Med Pract 2018;12(4):218-223.

open access

Vol 12, No 4 (2018)
Case report
Published online: 2019-01-21

Abstract

Aim: Dignity therapy is a short-term, individualized, patient-focused form of therapy reducing stress and helping both the patient and his family appreciate the end-of-life situation. The present study describes the impact of dignity therapy on an advanced cancer patient within a Polish hospital setting.
Methods: MH. Chochinov’s dignity therapy protocol was applied. A session was conducted during which an interview with the patient was recorded; subsequently subjected to a statistical analysis. The competent judges’ approach was used to effectively preclude subjective interpretation of the patient’s statement by an investigator. The judges’ appraisal was then checked for concordance (W Kendall). The patient was also asked to complete a survey questionnaire designed to assess the therapeutic effectiveness of dignity therapy in the intervention.
Results: The patient indicated that family epitomized the most crucial values. He also highlighted othe  issues, i.e. his work and life’s passion — playing the drums. The survey questionnaire indicated that by far the greatest benefit consisted in an overall improvement of his mental well–being (4.67). Benefits for the family followed (4), including his hope for recovering family ties (4). An unexpected therapeutic effect consisted in re–establishing a broken relationship with his daughters.
Conclusions: Dignity therapy proved effective not only as a method of enhancing the patient’s own sense of dignity in the face of impending death but also tangibly instrumental in overcoming a dramatic communication break within a family.
Palliat Med Pract 2018; 12, 4: 218–223

Abstract

Aim: Dignity therapy is a short-term, individualized, patient-focused form of therapy reducing stress and helping both the patient and his family appreciate the end-of-life situation. The present study describes the impact of dignity therapy on an advanced cancer patient within a Polish hospital setting.
Methods: MH. Chochinov’s dignity therapy protocol was applied. A session was conducted during which an interview with the patient was recorded; subsequently subjected to a statistical analysis. The competent judges’ approach was used to effectively preclude subjective interpretation of the patient’s statement by an investigator. The judges’ appraisal was then checked for concordance (W Kendall). The patient was also asked to complete a survey questionnaire designed to assess the therapeutic effectiveness of dignity therapy in the intervention.
Results: The patient indicated that family epitomized the most crucial values. He also highlighted othe  issues, i.e. his work and life’s passion — playing the drums. The survey questionnaire indicated that by far the greatest benefit consisted in an overall improvement of his mental well–being (4.67). Benefits for the family followed (4), including his hope for recovering family ties (4). An unexpected therapeutic effect consisted in re–establishing a broken relationship with his daughters.
Conclusions: Dignity therapy proved effective not only as a method of enhancing the patient’s own sense of dignity in the face of impending death but also tangibly instrumental in overcoming a dramatic communication break within a family.
Palliat Med Pract 2018; 12, 4: 218–223

Get Citation

Keywords

dignity therapy, palliative care, advanced cancer

About this article
Title

Application of dignity therapy in an advanced cancer patient — wider therapeutic implications

Journal

Palliative Medicine in Practice

Issue

Vol 12, No 4 (2018)

Pages

218-223

Published online

2019-01-21

DOI

10.5603/PMPI.2018.0015

Bibliographic record

Palliat Med Pract 2018;12(4):218-223.

Keywords

dignity therapy
palliative care
advanced cancer

Authors

Marta Łabuś-Centek
Anna Adamczyk
Agnieszka Jagielska
Beata Brożek
Michał Graczyk
Philip Larkin
Małgorzata Krajnik

References (12)
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  2. Chochinov HM, Kristjanson LJ, Breitbart W, et al. Effect of dignity therapy on distress and end-of-life experience in terminally ill patients: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet Oncol. 2011; 12(8): 753–762.
  3. www.who.int/cancer/palliative/definition/en/.
  4. McIlfatrick S, Connolly M, Collins R, et al. Evaluating a dignity care intervention for palliative care in the community setting: community nurses' perspectives. J Clin Nurs. 2017; 26(23-24): 4300–4312.
  5. De Walden-Gałuszko K. Wybrane zagadnienia psychoonkologii i psychotanatologii. Uniwersytet Gdański, Gdańsk 1992.
  6. Houmann LJ, Rydahl-Hansen S, Chochinov HM, et al. Testing the feasibility of the Dignity Therapy interview: adaptation for the Danish culture. BMC Palliat Care. 2010; 9: 21.
  7. Borys B, Majkowicz M. (red.). Psychologia w Medycynie (wybrane zagadnienia). Akademia Medyczna w Gdańsku, Gdańsk 2006.
  8. Fitchett G, Emanuel L, Handzo G, et al. Care of the human spirit and the role of dignity therapy: a systematic review of dignity therapy research. BMC Palliat Care. 2015; 14: 8.
  9. Hall S, Edmonds P, Harding R, et al. Assessing the feasibility, acceptability and potential effectiveness of Dignity Therapy for people with advanced cancer referred to a hospital-based palliative care team: Study protocol. BMC Palliat Care. 2009; 8: 5.
  10. Simonton OC, Matthews–Simonton S, Creighton JL. Triumf życia, możesz mieć przewagę nad rakiem. Ravi, Łódź 2005.
  11. Vaghee S, Heydari A. The Effect of Dignity Therapy on Hope in Patients with Major Depression Disorder. Global Journal of Health Science. 2016; 8(12): 118.
  12. De Walden-Gałuszko K. (red.) Psychoonkologia. Biblioteka Psychiatrii Polskiej, Kraków 2000.

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