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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 55

of 'Psychosocial issues in advanced illness'

Therapeutic life review in palliative care: a systematic review of quantitative evaluations.
Keall RM, Clayton JM, Butow PN
J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015;49(4):747.
CONTEXT: There is increasing interest in providing nonpharmacological treatments, including therapeutic life review interventions, to enhance palliative care patients' existential/spiritual domains.
OBJECTIVES: To review quantitative evaluations of therapeutic life review interventions to assist palliative care patients with prognoses of 6 months or fewer in addressing existential and spiritual domains.
METHODS: Comprehensive searches of PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL, Scopus, and PsycINFO were undertaken using a validated palliative care search filter in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Statement. Each publication that met the inclusion criteria was read and classified according to the American Heart Association's Disease Management Taxonomy, Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, QualSyst, and the Task Force on Psychological Interventions. Intervention procedures and outcomes were described.
RESULTS: The searches yielded 1768 articles, of which 14 met the inclusion criteria. The articles reported six interventions evaluated once and four interventions evaluated twice, resulting in 10 distinct interventions. The interventions were evaluated in randomized controlled trials (n = 9), single-arm studies (n = 3), and a cohort study (n = 1). Interventions were conducted in one to eight 15-160 minute sessions by psychologists, social workers, and nurses. Attrition rates were 12%-50% because of patient death and deterioration. Participants lived 28-110 days after completion. Significant results were reported in 11 of 14 studies.
CONCLUSION: There are few studies evaluating therapeutic life review interventions, although results are promising. Further studies are required that use stricter selection criteria to demonstrate efficacy before these interventions are adopted into clinical practice. Further study may include the effect of these interventions on the interventionist and the bereaved family and caregivers in long-term follow-up.
University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia; HammondCare Palliative and Supportive Care Service, Greenwich, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address: rkeall@sydney.edu.au.