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Effects of dignity therapy on palliative patients’ family members: A systematic review

, Carolina Tojal,
Palliative and Supportive Care pp 1-10; doi:10.1017/s147895152100033x

Abstract: Objective Dignity therapy (DT) is a kind of psychotherapy that identifies the main concerns of end-of-life patients that affect their perception of dignity and helps them to find a new meaning in life. Most prior studies on DT analyze outcomes for palliative care patients. The aim of this systematic review is to explore the outcomes of DT in palliative care patients’ family members. Method In June 2020, a bibliographic search was performed using the terms “Dignity Therapy” and “Palliative Care” in the following databases: Cochrane library, TRIP database, PUBMED, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge. Of the 294 articles found, 8 met the selection criteria and were considered in the present study. No articles were excluded based on their publication date. Results Family members generally believe that DT helps them to better prepare the patient's end-of-life and overcome the bereavement phase. The legacy document was considered a source of comfort, and most would recommend DT to other people in their situation. DT is generally considered as important as any other aspect of the patient's treatment. Significance of results There is evidence of the benefits of DT for palliative patients’ family members. However, there are still few studies that evaluate these outcomes. The existing evidence is poorly generalized, and thus, further studies are needed to deeply explore the benefits of this therapy both for patients and their families.
Keywords: Dignity therapy / Family members / Palliative care

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