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Psychosomatics. 2005 Jan-Feb;46(1):7-10.

Understanding the will to live in patients nearing death.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


This study examined concurrent influences on the will to live in 189 patients with end-stage cancer The authors found significant correlations between the will to live and existential, psychological, social, and, to a lesser degree, physical sources of distress. Existential variables proved to have the most influence, with hopelessness, burden to others, and dignity entering into the final model. Health care providers must learn to appreciate the importance of existential issues and their ability to influence the will to live among patients nearing death.

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