Meaning in palliative care: A literature review of psychological interventions and study of men's experience of caring

Judd, Rebecca (2015). Meaning in palliative care: A literature review of psychological interventions and study of men's experience of caring. University of Birmingham. Clin.Psy.D.

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This thesis presents two papers. The first is a systematic review exploring the evidence for meaning-focused psychological interventions in palliative care. Eleven papers, studying seven different meaning-focused interventions were reviewed. There was evidence that the group therapies are successful in improving individual’s psychological well-being when they are facing a life-threatening illness. However, a number of issues with the quality of the studies reviewed made it difficult to draw firm conclusions. It is recommended that further research be conducted to explore these therapies further and develop tools specifically designed to measure meaning. The second paper explored the experience of men caring for a dying spouse, and their experience seeking help for themselves during this time. The data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis creating three overarching themes, ‘Illness Questions Everything’; ‘Constructing the Caring Role’ and ‘Help-Seeking at the Limit’. The men struggled to make sense of the carer role, constructing it as giving purpose and meaning. Seeking help for themselves was seen as “incompatible” and only considered as a ‘last resort’. Men’s caring qualities need to be destigmatised so that they more easily identify with this role, and thus look after themselves whilst caring for their dying loved one.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Clin.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: Other
Other Funders: National Health Service
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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