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Spiritual and religious interventions for well-being of adults in the terminal phase of disease

Candy, B; Jones, L; Varagunam, M; Speck, P; Tookman, A; King, M; (2012) Spiritual and religious interventions for well-being of adults in the terminal phase of disease. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews , 5 , Article CD007544. 10.1002/14651858.CD007544.pub2. Green open access

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Abstract

Being ill and near to the end of life can raise questions such as "Why me? Why now?". The experience may start or increase thoughts of a spiritual or religious nature. Some research has found that having spiritual or religious awareness, or both, may help a person cope with disease and dying. We conducted our review through searches for studies that were randomised controlled trials. We only included such studies if they evaluated an intervention that involved a spiritual or religious aspect, such as prayer and meditation, and aimed to support adults in the terminal phase of a disease. We found five studies. In total, the studies involved 1130 participants. Two studies evaluated meditation. Three evaluated the work of a palliative care team that involved physicians, nurses and chaplains. Studies compared those who received the intervention with those who did not. Studies evaluated the interventions in various ways including whether it helped in any way a person's quality of life. There was inconclusive evidence that meditation and palliative care teams that involve a chaplain or spiritual counsellor help patients feel emotionally supported. The findings of the review are limited. This is because none of the studies measured whether the intervention helped the person cope with the disease process, and also it is unclear whether all participants receiving the palliative care team interventions were offered support from a chaplain. All the studies were undertaken in one country, making it difficult to draw conclusions as to whether the intervention would work elsewhere.

Type: Article
Title: Spiritual and religious interventions for well-being of adults in the terminal phase of disease
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007544.pub2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD007544.pub2
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2012 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: Adult, Humans, Massage, Meditation, Palliative Care, Quality of Life, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Religion, Spirituality, Terminally Ill
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/125869
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