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Gaceta mexicana de oncología

versión On-line ISSN 2565-005Xversión impresa ISSN 1665-9201


GONZALEZ-LING, Ana  y  GALINDO-VAZQUEZ, Óscar. Dignity Therapy in cancer patients: a systematized review of the literature. Gac. mex. oncol. [online]. 2020, vol.19, n.3, pp.99-106.  Epub 23-Abr-2021. ISSN 2565-005X.


Dignity Therapy (DT) is an intervention designed to address emotional and existential distress in people with life-threatening diseases. Although previous revisions have been made, its evidence specifically in oncology population has not been assessed.


To analyze the existing literature on the effects of DT on anxiety, depression, dignity and quality of life (QoL).


A PICO search was performed in the following databases: PubMed, PsycINFO and the Digital Library of UNAM from January 2002 to December 2019 this included studies with an experimental or quasi experimental design that included cancer patients who received DT.


Out of 281 obtained articles, 5 were included for the analysis, 4 RCTs and a control group study with patients with advanced or terminal cancer. In 2 studies researchers found low baseline levels of distress, making it difficult to measure benefit; in 2 other studies with baseline levels of distress, a benefit was observed in anxiety and depression. QoL is a factor that may influence the results of therapy.


DT is a beneficial intervention, especially when there are initial levels of emotional distress. More rigorous and heterogeneous research is required to confirm its effect on psychological symptoms and to extend the results to other cultural populations. It is suggested to study its effect in the Latino population.

Palabras llave : Cancer; Dignity; Dignity therapy; Psycho-oncology; Psychosocial; Psychotherapy.

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