Media Watch 535

Attached is the current issue of Media Watch (#535).

Of particular Interest:

Encouraging an assets rather than a deficits approach to the last phase of life

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL | Online – 14 October 2017 – To boldly go… Death is the final frontier that we will all face. But sudden death is dying out, and dying nowadays takes longer, with a last phase of life giving us months or years to consider our fate. How we respond in that situation will have immense consequences on how we will die. If we consider that talking about dying is in itself negative or harmful to hope, we lose a great opportunity to get actively involved in planning what we want, and to bringing our own personal beliefs and assets, and our friends’ resources to the table. If we hope against hope for a cure, we may receive treatment of doubtful or even no benefit for us. We will also be less likely to receive comprehensive care that brings comfort and dignity, and miss the opportunity to influence and personalise our own dying. We will all die one day, so let’s try to make sense of it. The ability to make sense of stresses helps people cope and make life more manageable. This capability is applicable to the last phase of life, just as it is throughout life. 

Forgiveness facilitation in palliative care: A scoping review protocol

JBI DATABASE OF SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS & IMPLEMENTATION REPORTS, 2017;15(10):2469-2479. Research on forgiveness is dispersed in the literature, and has been conducted in different clinical settings but mainly in palliative care (PC) contexts. Some outcomes have been related to forgiveness, such as better life satisfaction, increased blood pressure, positive mental health, physical and emotional well-being, and lower levels of depression and anxiety. Also, forgiving (others or self) is important in reducing the sense of guilt, which has been suggested as an indicator of spiritual distress in patients with acute renal failure or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Forgiving is also associated with a greater sense of hope and optimism in the future, and the willingness to forgive relieves negative self-esteem. Forgiveness may be associated with better spiritual health, as the experience of forgiving facilitates the act of letting go and brings about inner peace, even for those who are not religious. Researchers agree that forgiveness is a complex phenomenon, but further systematization is needed. Regardless of the knowledge about forgiveness in health, it is not clear in the literature which healthcare team members usually provide forgiveness facilitation and neither are the outcomes related to that intervention in the context of PC.