Meaning-Centered Interventions for Patients With Advanced or Terminal Cancer: A Meta-analysis

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BackgroundFor patients with advanced or terminal cancer undergoing hospice or palliative care, spiritual care based on meaning-centered intervention (MCI) has become an essential form of support.ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to characterize MCI systematically and the effectiveness of hospice and palliative care for patients with advanced or terminal cancer.MethodsMEDLINE via PubMed, Cochrane Library CENTRAL, EMBASE, CINAHL, and several Korean electronic databases were searched from inception to May 2017. The RevMan 5.3 program of the Cochrane Library was used for data analysis.ResultsA meta-analysis was conducted of 10 controlled trials (6 randomized and 4 nonrandomized) featuring 623 patients with cancer. Meaning-centered interventions were compared with usual care control groups or other psychosocial interventions. The weighted average effect sizes across studies were −0.96 (P < .001, I2 = 7%) for meaning in life, −0.37 (P = .002, I2 = 0%) for spiritual well-being, −0.48 (P < .001, I2 = 0%) for quality of life, −0.28 (P = .02, I2 = 0%) for anxiety, and −0.31 (P = .02, I2 = 17%) for physical symptoms.ConclusionSpiritual care based on MCI may help to improve the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual well-being of patients with advanced or terminal cancer.Implication for PracticeMeaning-centered interventions could be a valuable way to enhance quality of life at the end stage for patients with advanced or terminal cancer.

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