Meaning-centered psychotherapy integrated with elements of compassion: A pilot study to assess feasibility and utility

Francisco Gil, Clara Fraguell, Llúcia Benito, Anna Casellas-Grau, Joaquin T. Limonero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

8 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018. Objective The main objective of this study is to establish emotional benefits of promoting and maintaining meaning in palliative care patients in the final weeks of life and to assess the benefits of including the compassion and self-compassion constructs in the Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy Model (MCP).Method Fifty-one cancer inpatients were randomly assigned to one of the three brief interventions for cancer patients in the end of life: the MCP-palliative care version, the MCP-compassionate palliative care (MCP-CPC), or standard counseling. Feasibility, acceptability, and utility were assessed in each condition. Likewise, patients' opinions about the effectiveness of interventions' elements were also collected.Result Of the 51 patients that began one of the three interventions, 30 completed the three-session interventional program, as well as the pre-and posttreatment questionnaires. No significant differences were found between therapies in terms of the positive feedback of patients regarding the structure, focus, and length of the all three psychotherapeutic interventions. The most helpful elements or constructs reported by patients were meaning, self-compassion, compassion, legacy, and courage and commitment.Significance of results An abbreviated version of MCP-CPC tailored to the needs of palliative care patients appears to be feasible, acceptable, and helps patients cope with the process of dying. Further research in bigger samples is needed to establish evidence for the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of a brief MCP-CPC for palliative care patients in their last weeks of life. More proposals of further elements are also needed to improve the results. Such research can create or refine previous treatment approaches which improve the quality of life and psychological distress in patients with advanced cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-647
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Advanced cancer
  • Cancer
  • Meaning
  • Psychotherapy
  • Self-compassion


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