This study assessed a range of benefits from participation in a brief existential intervention consisting of a semi-structured videotaped interview with cancer patients and their families designed to illuminate a life legacy for the family (the Life Tape Project [LTP]). Results indicated the majority reported intervention-specific benefits, especially in the areas of symbolic immortality (passing on personal values and philosophy), self-reflection and growth, and improved family cohesion and communication. Participants, particularly those who had perceived their cancer as a threat of death, serious injury, or threat to their physical integrity, and responded with intense fear or helplessness, also reported more general reductions in mood disturbance, improvements in aspects of well-being (including overall quality of life), satisfaction with the understanding they received, and enhanced cancer-related posttraumatic growth. In short, the LTP is a brief, inexpensive, existential intervention that can yield broad positive psychosocial changes for a majority of participants.
View details for DOI 10.2190/OM.62.3.c
View details for Web of Science ID 000288501600003
View details for PubMedID 21495534