palliative care forschung schweiz

Projektliste - Details

Titel / Thema

Impact of a gratitude-based intervention on patients and caregivers in a palliative care context: a pilot study


01.2018 – 12.2019


Gratitude, defined as an “other-oriented” emotion, has shown to impact significantly on many relevant dimensions for palliative care. Emerging from the positive psychology domain, gratitude can represent a positive psychological factor that can improve and promote the quality of life of palliative patients and their relatives, as well as the quality of their relationship. Based on our previous results about gratitude in palliative care, this study aims to conduct the first step of a two-step study whose final aim will be to examine whether a gratitude-based intervention in a palliative care setting can increase the quality of life and the quality of the relationship of the patients and caregivers (primary outcomes) and decrease their psychological distress and burden (secondary outcomes). This pilot study consists of a mixed-methods, pre-post evaluation of a gratitude intervention (gratitude letter and visit) on palliative care patients and their caregivers. Quantitative data will be collected at baseline (T0) and post-intervention (T1) with validated questionnaires for all outcomes. Qualitative data will be collected from semi-structured interviews with the participants and from the content of the gratitude letters to explore their representations of the gratitude concept and their perception of the intervention. This innovative positive psychology intervention in the palliative care setting strives to promote and increase quality of life and quality of relationships in patients and caregivers. The fact that the gratitude intervention is quite simple and does not require a specifically trained therapist could represent a major asset for future clinical implementation. We believe that such an intervention could be of significant benefit to both the patients and their caregivers.




Palliative and Supportive Care Service, Lausanne University Hospital


Mathieu Bernard


Dr Boris Cantin, Hôpital cantonal de Fribourg; Dre Josiane Pralong, Fondation Rive-Neuve


Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

Keywords (in english)

Gratitude, Quality of Life, Quality of relationship, Psychological distress, Palliative patients, Caregivers, Intervention study


Bernard, M. (2015). Le sentiment de gratitude en soins palliatifs : un facteur psychologique contribuant au bien-être et à la qualité de vie ? Psycho-Oncologie, 9(2), 115-120


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