Asian Nurs Res.  2020 Oct;14(4):189-195. 10.1016/j.anr.2020.04.003.

The Effectiveness of Dignity Therapy as Applied to End-of-Life Patients with Cancer in Taiwan: A Quasi-Experimental Study

  • 1College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Hematology-Oncology, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Nursing, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  • 4College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan, Taiwan


The aim of the study was to determine the effectiveness of dignity therapy for end-of-life patients with cancer.
This study used a quasi-experimental study design with a nonrandomized controlled trial. Dignity therapy was used as an intervention in the experimental group, and general visit was used in the control group. Thirty end-of-life patients with cancer were recruited, with 16 in the experimental group and 14 in the control group. Outcome variables were the participants' dignity, demoralization, and depression. Measurements were taken at the following time points: pre-test (before intervention), posttest 1 (the 7th day), and post-test 2 (the 14th day). The effectiveness of the intervention in the two groups was analyzed using the generalized estimating equation, with the p value set to be less than .05.
After dignity therapy, the end-of-life patients with cancer reflected increased dignity signifi-cantly [β= -37.08, standard error (SE) = 7.43, Wald x2= 24.94, p < .001], whereas demoralization (β= -39.55, SE = 6.42, Wald x2= 37.95, p < .001) and depression (β= -12.01, SE = 2.17, x2= 30.71, p< 001) were both reduced significantly.
Clinical nurses could be adopting dignity therapy to relieve psychological distress and improve spiritual need in end-of-life patients with cancer. Future studies might be expanded to looking at patients vis-a -vis end-of-life patients without cancer to improve their psychological distress. These results provide reference data for the care of end-of-life patients with cancer for nursing professionals.


cancer; depression; neoplasms; neoplasms; terminal care
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