Author

Emily Newman

Date of Award

6-29-2015

Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name

Psy.D.

Department

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Nicole Taylor

First Committee Member

Judy Fox

Second Committee Member

Teri Simoneau

Keywords

Dignity Therapy, bone marrow transplant, allogeneic, psychosocial oncology

Abstract

Dignity Therapy is a relatively novel therapeutic intervention designed to address psychosocial and existential distress among those facing life threatening circumstances. This narrative psychotherapy approach invites patients to reflect and speak about issues that are most important to them and hopes to elicit feelings of purposefulness and autonomy, characteristics that are typically waning when nearing end of life. Dignity Therapy consists of a ten question semi-structured interview designed to integrate themes of accomplishments and sources of pride, things that may feel unsaid, and/or particular lessons or wisdom that the patient hopes to pass on to loved ones. The interview is transcribed, edited with the patient, and provided as a typed “generativity document” to the patient. Dignity Therapy has been empirically validated to lessen symptoms of existential distress in various terminally ill populations. In this pilot study, the dignity therapy intervention was implemented with five members of a novel patient population; those who have undergone an allogeneic blood or marrow stem cell transplant following a diagnosis of blood cancer. These participants engaged in the Dignity Therapy intervention and then filled out a brief feedback questionnaire. It is our hope that this pilot study will serve as a feasibility study to identify if this intervention will be acceptable and meaningful to this novel patient population.

Extent

74 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons

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