Acceptability and Feasibility of a Meaning-Based Intervention for Patients With Advanced Cancer and Their Spouses: A Pilot Study

Christina D. Wagner, Shelley Johns, Linda F. Brown, Nasser Hanna, Silvia M. Bigatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Constructing meaning in cancer leads to improved psychosocial outcomes for patients and survivors. Aim: We tested the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a meaning-based intervention for couples. Design: The single-arm pilot study tested a 4-session, tailored, activities-based couple’s intervention. Setting/Participants: Twelve adults with incurable cancer and their partners participated either in a university office or at the couple’s home. Results: The study showed good feasibility. One of the two patients depressed at baseline was no longer depressed at postintervention. Patients’ threat appraisals decreased and transcendence increased. In partners, depression, anxiety, and challenge appraisal decreased; threat and secondary appraisals and peace with illness increased. Conclusions: Our findings suggest feasibility and efficacy, and further research and continued evaluation of this intervention are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-554
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016



  • anxiety
  • couples focus
  • depression
  • end of life
  • meaning-making intervention
  • transcendental concerns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this