Desire of Hastened death in terminal cancer patient: analysis of compensation and factors associated

Poster session presented at the XXIII S.I.P.I. National Congress – “The network of the compensatory functions in the Adlerian theory and practice”, Milan, 2012.

The full article is available for download in Italian only.

Summary. The objectives of the study are to examine the desire of hastened death and the euthanasia request in terminal cancer patients, to identify factors associated with hastened death and to analyze it as a compensation. One hundred and thirty patients admitted to the Hospice Valletta in Turin have been subjected to a short semi-structured interview designed to assess thoughts of death, and to the following Rating Scales: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Visual Analogue (VAS) – which assesses painful symptoms – and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being Scale (FACIT-Sp). The study has shown significant associations between HADS and VAS and between HADS and FACIT-Sp. Furthermore, the desire of hastened death was significantly associated with a poor functional status, pain, depression, spirituality and with the perception of being a burden for others. This study has shown how physical, psychological and existential distress factors are associated with the desire of death in terminal cancer patients. At the end of the life the desire of hastened death could represent an extreme attempt to free himself from distress and to affirm himself against the illness.

CD_075_Milano_Bovero-Graziato e altri

Research of meaning at the end of life: analysis of an experience of psychotherapy in hospice

070_Andrea Bovero_ITA

The full article is available for download in Italian only. DOWNLOAD PDF

Summary. The importance of spirituality in coping with terminal illness is becoming increasingly recognized. Among the medically and terminally ill in particular patients struggle with questions about  their mortality, the meaning and purpose of life. Aims of this work are to analyze the application of the adlerian psychotherapy in the palliative care context and in particular to study the use of the individual psychology model with advanced cancer patients recovered in hospice, focusing on existential concerns, spiritual needs and to find a meaning at the end of life. Results show the beneficial effect of the brief  adlerian psychodynamic psychotherapy in helping terminally ill patients to find a sense of meaning. There are key aspects of Adlerian therapy, as oneness of the concerned person, its teleological aspects, the emphasis on social responsibility, the need to come true in the human community, the strategy of encouragement and the sense of belonging that make it useful in the treatment of the dying patients. Finally this work highlights the ability to sustain a sense of meaning and inner peace particularly important among terminally ill individuals in order to maintain dignity and self-esteem in facing their waning physical abilities.