Psychological intervention in Palliative Care. Analysis of services provided in Spain

María Antonia Lacasta Lacasta Reverte, J. Rocafort Gil, L. Blanco Toro, J. Timoneo Limonero I García, X. Gómez Batiste

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: dying is, in fact, a most difficult event to confront, and has a psychological impact, releasing an intense flow of emotions both in the patient and his or her family that may cause psychological stress, emotional destructuration, and lots of suffering. This complexity is the reason underlying the need for psychologists in palliative care teams (PCTs). Objective: to identify PCTs including psychologists in their staff, the roles that these professionals play, and cases susceptible of specific psychological interventions. Method: an observational, descriptive study was carried out using a survey that included all PCTs in Spain . Results: 201 of all 262 PCTs surveyed completed the questionnaire (77%); 102 PCTs (51%) included psychologists and 99 lacked them (49%); 71 psychologists completed the survey. Most of them developed their activity in home-oriented PCTs; 46% on a full-time basis. Their main function (100%) was to psychologically care for patients and their relatives. Eighty percent reported advisory activities to their team, and 45% also provided psychological support to prevent burnout. Sixty-two percent performed educational activities too, and 37% used some of their time in research activities. PCTs are the source of 51.44%) of cases followed by psychologists, usually regarding complex situations. Conclusions: data collected show that psychologists play a specific role in PCTs. Copyright © 2008 Arán Ediciones, S.L.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
JournalMedicina Paliativa
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Palliative care
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapy


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