RCT: In hospitalized patients receiving palliative care, a nurse-led short term life review improved spiritual well-being vs usual care.
Kwan CWM, Chan CWH, Choi KC The effectiveness of a nurse-led short term life review intervention in enhancing the spiritual and psychological well-being of people receiving palliative care: A mixed method study. Int J Nurs Stud. 2019 Mar;91:134-143. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.12.007. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

BACKGROUND: A life review is a promising intervention to enhance spiritual well-being in older people. Conventional life review interventions are lengthy and often led by psychologists.

OBJECTIVES: This is the first randomised controlled trial study to examine the effectiveness and applicability of a nurse-led short term life-review intervention in people with life limiting diseases, the purpose being to enhance their spiritual well-being and lower their anxiety and depression.

DESIGN: A sequential mixed method approach, randomised controlled trial and qualitative evaluation, was adopted. The intervention group received the short version life review, and the control group attention placebo. Participants were randomly assigned to either intervention or control groups by computerised randomisation. Both participants and outcome assessors were blinded to the group assignment.

SETTINGS: The study was conducted in three publicly funded regional hospitals in Hong Kong.

PARTICIPANTS: The target population were people suffering from life-limiting diseases, and receiving hospitalised, day hospice or outreach home care from the palliative care team.

METHODS: Two sets of questionnaires were used: the spiritual sub-scale of the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire, Hong Kong version and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Chinese version. The intervention process was assessed by means of observation log sheets and semi-structured interviews of 12 participants.

RESULTS: A total of 109 participants were recruited (54 in the intervention group, 55 in the control group). The intervention group showed significantly more improvement in spiritual well-being than the control group, with a Cohen's d-effect size of 0.65. Although there were improvements in both anxiety and depression levels in the intervention group, statistical significance in between-group comparisons was not reached. The process evaluation found that most participants were highly involved (92.6%), interested (77.8%) and participated in the intervention (79.6%). The participants described the intervention process as 'comfortable', 'relaxing' and 'interesting', and felt enlightened, with raised self-awareness, after it.

CONCLUSION: The nurse-led short term life-review intervention demonstrated significant improvement effects in spiritual well-being. Participant feedback on nurses' performance was positive, finding the intervention acceptable and useful. The setting of the intervention has now been extended from bedside to home. It is recommended to incorporate life review into palliative nursing specialty training, empowering more nurses to deliver the intervention in their daily practice.

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Palliative Care
Specialty Area Score
Oncology - Palliative and Supportive Care
Hospital Doctor/Hospitalists
Internal Medicine
Comments from MORE raters

Oncology - Palliative and Supportive Care

They did not design the trial to make a comparison with the standard interventions directed by psychologists. Anyway, they show that intervention directed by a nurse is better than no intervention and is acceptable to patients.

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