This episode features Dr. Mariona Guerrero (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain). She reports on her systematic review which aimed to identify meaning in life interventions implemented in patients with advanced disease and to describe their context, mechanisms and outcomes.
The study was a Systematic review of four electronic databases, and involved a realist synthesis of meaning in life interventions using criteria from the Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards project.
A total of 12 articles were included in the systematic review, corresponding to nine different interventions. Analysis of context, mechanisms and outcomes configurations showed that a core component of all the interventions was the interpersonal encounter between patient and therapist, in which sources of meaning were explored and a sense of connectedness was re-established. Meaning in life interventions were associated with clinical benefits on measures of purpose-in-life, quality of life, spiritual well-being, self-efficacy, optimism, distress, hopelessness, anxiety, depression and wish to hasten death. This review provides an explanatory model of the contextual factors and mechanisms that may be involved in promoting meaning in life. These approaches could provide useful tools for relieving existential suffering at the end of life.
Full paper available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269216316685235
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