Is Higher Acceptance Associated With Less Anticipatory Grief Among Patients in Palliative Care?
Patients in palliative care can experience substantial psychological suffering. Acceptance-based interventions from approaches such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy have demonstrated effectiveness in helping people cope with a range of life challenges. However, there is a dearth of research examining mechanisms of therapeutic change for patients in palliative care. Objectives: To assess the relationships between acceptance, anticipatory grief, anxiety, and depression among patients in palliative care. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was verbally administered to inpatients (N = 73) receiving palliative care. Results: Correlations revealed that acceptance had a strong relationship with anticipatory grief, anxiety, and depression. A hierarchical regression analysis on anticipatory grief showed that acceptance was the largest predictor and accounted for an additional 13% of variance in anticipatory grief over and above anxiety and depression. Conclusion: The present study provides preliminary data suggesting that interventions that target acceptance may be indicated in patients in palliative care.