Life beyond loss: a retrospective analysis of the impact of meaning of life therapy on the grieving process of cancer patients’ family caregivers

Maria João Freitas, Sónia Remondes-Costa, Elisa Veiga, Gerly Macedo, Ricardo João Teixeira, Manuela Leite*

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

6 Transferências (Pure)

Resumo

Oncological disease in the palliative stage is a huge challenge for patients and their family caregivers (FCs) due to the fact that it confronts them with death, as well as physical, psychological, and existential suffering. Meaning of Life Therapy (MLT) is a brief structured psycho-existential intervention aiming to help patients in a meaning-making life review process, promoting end-of-life adaptation. The Life Letter (LL) resulting from MLT is an element that facilitates communication between the patient and their caregivers. The goal of this study was to understand the impact of MLT on the grieving processes of eight FCs and to study their perceptions of the role of the LL on grief through semi-structured interviews. The results of our qualitative analysis indicate that MLT was perceived by the FCs as a positive experience despite the conspiracy of silence being identified as a drawback. The LL was interpreted as a communicational element, promoting emotional closeness with the cancer patients and serving as a valuable tool in the FCs’ adaptation to loss. Our research findings show that the needs of FCs, especially after experiencing the loss of their relative, are dynamic and specific. This is why it is urgent to develop interventions that consider the idiosyncrasies of end-of-life cancer patients and their FCs in order to avoid frustrated farewells, lonely deaths, and maladaptive grieving processes. This is the direction in which MLT should evolve.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo471
Número de páginas18
RevistaHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume12
Número de emissão4
DOIs
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - fev. 2024

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