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What are the digitally enabled psychosocial interventions delivered by trained practitioners being offered to adults with life-shortening illnesses and palliative care needs and their informal and professional caregivers? A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative and Supportive Care
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)727-740
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/03/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Computer-mediated and telephone communication connecting professionals and patients (eHealth) is well established. Yet there is little information about psychosocial interventions delivered by trained practitioners for a palliative care population. The aim is to describe digitally enabled psychosocial interventions offered to adults with life-shortening or terminal illnesses and carers/families receiving palliative care, and how these are delivered and evaluated. Using Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review methodology, 4 databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Academic Search Ultimate) were searched (January 2011-April 2021). Inclusion criteria: (a) any design reporting and (b) psychosocial interventions delivered digitally by palliative care health and social care practitioners to (c) adults with life-shortening illnesses. Included papers (n=16) were from Europe ((n=8), Asia (n=2), and the USA (n=6). Research designs encompassed pre- and post-studies, randomized control trials, feasibility, and pilot studies. Tools evaluated psychological, somatic, functional, and psychosocial outcomes. Underpinning approaches included cognitive behavioral therapy, Erikson's life review, coping skills training, psychoeducation, problem-solving therapy, counseling, emotional support and advice, and art therapy. Delivery tools used were telephones, text messages and emails, websites, videos, workbooks, and compact discs. Practitioners included counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists, art therapists, social workers, registered nurses, and trainees. Patients had Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart failure. COVID-19 has accelerated the usages of digitally enabled psychosocial interventions. Evidence indicates a growing interest in hybrid, novel, synchronous, and asynchronous digital psychosocial interventions for adults with life-shortening illnesses and their caregivers receiving palliative care.