Effectiveness of palliative care interventions offering social support to people with life-limiting illness-A systematic review

N. Bradley*, M. Lloyd-Williams, C. Dowrick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Individuals managing the challenges of life-limiting illness require adequate social support to maintain quality of life. Qualitative research reports that patients value highly the social support obtained in palliative care interventions such as day care and group therapies. This systematic review aims to summarise existing quantitative evidence on palliative care interventions that facilitate social support. Research literature was systematically searched using electronic databases and key journals. Searches returned a total of 6,247 unique titles of which sixteen were eligible for inclusion. Interventions include group therapies, group practical interventions and palliative day care. Outcome measures and study designs were heterogeneous. Only one study used a validated outcome measure of social support. Benefits were influenced by participant characteristics such as baseline distress. Partial economic evaluation was attempted by two studies. Methodological challenges include attrition and use of outcome measures that were insensitive to change. Statistically significant results were reported in psychological and physical domains. Evidence is limited due to methodological issues and a scarcity of quantitative research, particularly regarding long-term benefits and cost-effectiveness. Interventions may be more beneficial to some groups than others.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12837
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date24 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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