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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Apr-Jun;25(2):210-217. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_171_18.

The Effect of Positive Psychotherapy on the Meaning of Life in Patients with Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Author information

Nursing and Midwifery School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Nursing Research Center, Nursing and Midwifery School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.
Islamic Azad University, Psychology Department, Zarand, Iran.


Background and Aim:

Cancer, as a social phenomenon, disrupts the daily functions and social activities of a person and changes his ability to perform roles and responsibilities and reach the meaning of life. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of positive psychotherapy on understanding the meaning of life in patients with cancer.

Materials and Methods:

This was a randomized clinical trial study. Sixty-one patients with cancer were selected by convenience sampling method and were assigned randomly into two positive psychotherapeutic (n = 30) and control (n = 31) groups. Positive psychotherapy included eight 90-min sessions held weekly in group form. The life attitude profile-Gary Reker was completed before and after the intervention.


The results showed that there was no significant difference between the mean scores of meaning of life and all its dimensions (purposes, existential vacuum, death acceptance, goal seeking, coherence and responsibility choice) before intervention, but there was a significant difference between the two groups after intervention (P < 0.05). Also in the control group, the mean score was reduced after the intervention.


The positive psychotherapy is effective in increasing the level of meaningful life, enjoyable and committed life of people with cancer. Therefore, based on the results of this study, health-care managers can plan to train and increase the empowerment of nurses in providing these interventions to patients in need.


Cancer; meaning; nurse; patient; positive psychotherapy

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