MINDFULNESS AS A SPIRITUAL SUPPORT IN PALLIATIVE CARE



MINDFULNESS AS A SPIRITUAL SUPPORT IN PALLIATIVE CARE

Daniela Respini

Psicologa, psiconcologa

ASSOCIAZIONE MARELUCE ONLUS

mareluce@mareluce.it

Siracusa

 

Introduction: According to litterature pain is one of the most common experience in cancer patients, specially in terminal cancer patients. Conventional treatment do not always satisfatctorily relieve this symptoms. Complementary therapies such as mind-body techniques, massage, and other methods can help relieve symptoms and improve physical and mental well-being. Relaxation techniques can help to reduce procedural pain.

The study demonstrate that mindfulness can help patient to relieve pain and other similar symptoms present at the end of life.

Patients and methods: The study was conduct at the home of a terminal cancer patient. The techniques used were coloring mandala listening soft music, breathing exercicse, and counselling.

Tools: The patient was assessed with Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2), Cognitive Behavioural Assessment (CBA), the Italian Questionnaire of Pain (QUID) was weekly measured. The Oncological medical care was a pain relieving drug.

Results: After five weeks the data analysis of the QUID reported the perception of pain from lancinating and persistent changed to intermittent and bothersome, the patient improved his self control and the level of humour. A better quality of life with an increment in the quality of relationships was observed. The posology for pain managment was reduced. The coloring of mandala gave the opportunity to the patient to discover his interiority, decreased the tension for pain and created a relaxed environment.

Conclusion: Mindfulness techniques do not resolve the problem of cancer patients, however they help the patient to considered himself in the totality of his dimensions: mind, spirit and body according to an holistic approach. The mandala can be considerate as an instrument that helps the patients to concentrate on him self, with the aim to get back his normal internal equilibrium.