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Title: Developing and evaluating a psychological intervention for use in palliative care
Author: Galfin, John Melvin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 0011
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2011
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As a GWR research project joint funded by Hospiscare, the main objective of this research was to examine the nature of psychological distress in palliative care, with the specific purpose of developing and evaluating accessible psychological interventions suitable for Hospiscare staff to use with clients. There is evidence that palliative care patients and their caregivers experience psychological difficulties including (a) studies of depression and anxiety in palliative care; (b) the concerns expressed by palliative care patients and their caregivers. However, the studies are generally qualitative in nature based on interviews of small samples of participants. Therefore, Study 1 and Study 2 adopted a cross-sectional design to examine psychological distress and rumination in samples of palliative care patients, their caregivers and an age-matched control group. The results from Study 1 and Study 2 indicated that psychological distress and rumination on existential concerns were elevated in palliative care patients and their caregivers. Furthermore, findings suggested an association between psychological distress and abstract rumination. Study 3 reported a case series piloting an intervention developed from concreteness training (CT) designed to address abstract rumination in palliative care. The case series indicated that with some modification to the identification and screening of patients, the treatment could be acceptable and feasible for palliative care patients. Study 4 examined the effectiveness of the CT guided self-help intervention in a randomized controlled trial. Findings indicated that the intervention could be effective for reducing anxiety, but not depression in palliative care patients. Moreover, Study 5’s findings also raised the possibility that abstractness was a partial mediator of the effects of the intervention on self-reported symptoms of anxiety in palliative care patients. Study 5 utilised a cluster randomized controlled design to evaluate a training programme designed to teach hospice staff how to deliver the CT guided self-help intervention. Results indicated that there was a more positive impact of routine care on patient distress for nurses attending training, when compared to nurses not attending the training. However, the training did not impact on nurses’ self-reported confidence or behaviour in addressing patients’ distress.
Supervisor: Watkins, Edward Sponsor: Great Western Research ; Hospiscare
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Palliative care ; rumination ; psychological technique ; therapy ; anxiety