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To examine how an advance care planning (ACP) intervention based on structured conversations impacts the relationship between patients with advanced cancer and their nominated Personal Representatives (PRs).
Within the ACTION research project, a qualitative study was carried out in 4 countries (Italy, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Slovenia) to explore the lived experience of engagement with the ACTION Respecting Choices® ACP intervention from the perspectives of patients and their PRs. A phenomenological approach was undertaken.
Our findings show that taking part in the ACTION ACP intervention provides a communicative space for patients and their PRs to share their understanding and concerns about the illness and its consequences. In some cases, this may strengthen relationships by realigning patients’ and PRs’ understanding and expectations and affirming their mutual commitment and support.
Significance of results
The most significant consequence of the ACP process in our study was the deepening of mutual understanding and relationship between some patients and PRs and the enhancement of their sense of mutuality and connectedness in the present. However, being a relational intervention, ACP may raise some challenging and distressing issues. The interpersonal dynamics of the discussion require skilled and careful professional facilitation.
Background: Hoarding is associated with significant impairment. Although traditionally considered as a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), some authors have proposed that pathological hoarding could be considered as a stand alone condition. The prevalence of pathological hoarding behaviour has been shown to be high in some countries, but little is known about the prevalence and correlates of hoarding in the non-clinical population in Italy. Method: We studied the prevalence of self-reported hoarding behaviour using the Italian version of the Saving Inventory-Revised, as well as the association between hoarding and various clinical correlates, including obsessive-compulsive symptoms, compulsive buying, anxiety, and depression. Results: The prevalence of pathological hoarding behaviour in two studies was between 3.7 and 6.0%. No differences were found between hoarding and non-hoarding participants with regard to gender, age, marital status, level of education, and employment status. Significant correlations were found between compulsive hoarding and obsessive-compulsive symptoms and also between hoarding and a measure of compulsive buying, even after controlling for anxiety and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: These results indicate that pathological hoarding may also be prevalent in Italy and highlight the need for further epidemiological studies using validated instruments to assess hoarding disorder.
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