Seriously ill patients' discussions of preparation and life completion: an intervention to assist with transition at the end of life

Title

Seriously ill patients' discussions of preparation and life completion: an intervention to assist with transition at the end of life

Creator

Steinhauser KE; Alexander SC; Byock IR; George LK; Tulsky JA

Publisher

Palliative & Supportive Care

Date

2009

Subject

Intervention; Interventions

Description

OBJECTIVE:Patients approaching the end of life not only face challenges to physical well-being but also threats to emotional and spiritual integrity. Yet, identifying appropriate, effective, and brief interventions to address those concerns has proven elusive. We developed an intervention based on life review and emotional disclosure literatures and conducted a pilot study to determine feasibility and acceptability. This article presents qualitative intervention responses.METHOD:We conducted a three-armed randomized control trial to evaluate the effects of preparation and life completion discussion on health outcomes in patients with advanced serious illness. Hospice-eligible subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) intervention (life completion discussion intervention), (2) attention control (relaxation meditation), and control (no intervention). Subjects in the intervention arm met with a facilitator three times. Session 1 focused on life story, Session 2 on forgiveness, and Session 3, on heritage and legacy.RESULTS:Eighteen subjects participated in the pilot intervention interviews. Subjects from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds completed the intervention with equal facility. Results from Session 1 demonstrate narrative responses participants gave as they reconnected with previous life roles, values, and accomplishments. The second session illustrated reflections of choices one might have made differently and exploration of forgiveness offered and sought. Content from the first and second sessions laid the foundation for discussing Session 3's lessons learned and heritage and legacy. Responses are summarized to assist clinicians in anticipating life review content that may improve overall quality of life at the end of life.SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS:Discussions of life completion may improve important health outcomes for patients at the end of life. This intervention may provide a brief, standardized, and transportable means for improving the quality of life of patients with advanced serious illness.
2009

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

393-404

Issue

4

Volume

7

Citation

Steinhauser KE; Alexander SC; Byock IR; George LK; Tulsky JA, “Seriously ill patients' discussions of preparation and life completion: an intervention to assist with transition at the end of life,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed November 27, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14320.

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