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The aim of our study was to investigate the utility of bereavement life review (BLR) to elevate spiritual well-being and alleviate depression among Hawaiian-American caregivers, and to identify changes that occur when caring for their loved ones up to the time of death.
Bereavement life review therapy was provided for 20 bereaved Hawaiian Americans. In the first session, subjects reviewed memories of the deceased with a therapist, who recorded their narratives and collected them into a personal history book. During the second session, subjects discussed the contents of this book. Caregivers completed the Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy–Spiritual (FACIT–Sp) questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II) pre- and post-intervention. Subjects also described changes in their views that occurred during the caring process in response to questions.
FACIT–Sp scores significantly increased from 34.1 ± 9.63 to 36.3 ± 10.6 (t = –2.6, p < 0.05, and BDI scores significantly decreased from 11.7 ± 7.7 to 8.8 ± 7.0 (t = 2.27, p < 0.05). Five categories were chosen from the narratives on changes that had occurred during caregiving and due to the deceased death: “Learning from practical caring experience,” “Positive understanding of patients,” “Recognition of appreciation,” “Self-change or growth,” and “Obtaining a philosophy.”
Significance of Results:
These findings show the applicability of bereavement life review therapy for Hawaiian families, including efficacy for spiritual well-being and depression. The comments of the caregivers also indicate the potential of the therapy for identifying the positive aspects of caring for terminally ill patients.
The aim of this study was to investigate the primary concerns of terminally ill cancer patients in a Short-Term Life Review among Japanese, Koreans, and Americans to develop intervention programs to be tailored to patients in other countries.
Twenty Japanese, 16 Korean, and 7 American terminally ill cancer patients who were in the hospice wards of general Christian hospitals in each country participated in this study. Medical staff members (nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists) performed Short-Term Life Review Interviews with each patient. Patients reviewed their lives in the first session, the interviewers made simple albums for each patient in the week following the first session, and patients and interviewers then confirmed the contents of the album. The treatment period was 1 week. Measurement instruments included the Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy–Spiritual (FACIT-Sp) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). The contents of each interview session were transcribed, and correspondence analysis and a significance test were conducted on these data to select characteristic words or phrases.
Using the FACIT-Sp scores, the following concerns were chosen, in descending order of frequency. In Japan, primary concerns consisted of such ideas as “good human relationships and transcendence,” “achievements and satisfaction,” “good memories and important things,” and “bitter memories.” In Korea, “religious life,” “right behavior for living,” “strong consideration for children and will,” and “life for living” were primary concerns. In the United States, “love, pride, will to children,” “good, sweet memories,” and “regret and a feeling of loss” were primary concerns.
Significance of results:
We clarify the differences among the primary concerns from the Short-Term Life Reviews, arguing that we can improve the spiritual well-being of terminally ill cancer patients by focusing on the primary concerns within each country.
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