Preparatory grief, psychological distress and hopelessness in advanced cancer patients.

Research paper by K K Mystakidou, E E Parpa, E E Tsilika, P P Athanasouli, M M Pathiaki, A A Galanos, A A Pagoropoulou, L L Vlahos

Indexed on: 28 Feb '08Published on: 28 Feb '08Published in: European Journal of Cancer Care


A study was undertaken to evaluate the preparatory grief process in advanced cancer patients and its relationship with hopelessness, depression and anxiety. In total, 94 advanced cancer patients treated in a Pain Relief and Palliative Care Unit completed the Preparatory Grief in Advanced Cancer Patients (PGAC) Scale, the Greek Hospital Anxiety and Depression (G-HAD) scales, and a measure of hopelessness the Beck Hopelessness Scale. The strongest correlation was found between grief and hopelessness (r = 0.63, P < 0.0005) and PGAC-1 'self-consciousness' (r = 0.54, P < 0.0005). Similarly, strong associations revealed between PGAC total with anxiety (HAD-D) and depression (HAD-D) (P < 0.0005). Significant associations were depicted between hopelessness, depression and anxiety with PGAC-total as well as with its components. Statistically significant associations were also obtained between grief, metastases (P = 0.073) and education (P = 0.043). In the multiple regression analysis (enter method), anxiety (P < 0.0005) was the strongest predictor of preparatory grief followed by hopelessness (P = 0.002), presence of metastases (P = 0.004) and depression (P = 0.033). Depression, hopelessness, anxiety and terminally ill patients' metastases contribute to the prediction of preparatory grief in this population.