Psychotherapeutic Considerations for Patients With Terminal Illness.

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Dignity has gained increasing attention as a vital component of quality of life and quality of end-of-life care. This article reviews psychological, spiritual, existential, and physical issues facing patients at the end of life as well as practical considerations in providing therapy for this population. The authors reviewed several evidence-based treatments for enhancing end-of-life experience and mitigating suffering, including a primary focus on dignity therapy and an additional review of meaning-centered psychotherapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Each of these therapies has an emerging evidence base, but they have not been compared to each other in trials. Thus, the choice of psychotherapy for patients at the end of life will reflect patient characteristics, therapist orientation and expertise with various approaches, and feasibility within the care context. Future research is needed to directly compare the efficacy and feasibility of these interventions to determine optimal care delivery.


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