Compassion-Based Interventions for People with Long-Term Physical Conditions: a Mixed Methods Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Objective. Compassion-based interventions show promise in enhancing well-being and
reducing distress, however little is known about their applications for people with long-term
physical conditions. The current study investigates compassion-based interventions for this
population: what are their differing elements (content, structure, tailoring, use of
technology), feasibility and acceptability, effects and experienced benefits?

Methods. A mixed-methods systematic review was conducted. Four bibliographic databases
were searched without time or study design restrictions. Meta-synthesis was used to integrate
quantitative results of effects, and qualitative results of experienced benefits.

Results. Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria, of which most targeted people with cancer
or persistent pain. Interventions were either comprehensive with 6-12 face-to-face sessions,
or brief based on a single compassion exercise. Participants highly rated feasibility and accessibility. Amongst a plethora of outcomes, reductions in depression and
anxiety were the most common findings. Our qualitative synthesis yielded participants’
perceived benefits of (1) acceptance of the condition; (2) improved emotion regulation skills; (3)
reduced feelings of isolation. Little overlap was found between quantitative and
qualitative outcomes.

Conclusion. While the field is still in its infancy, this review highlights the potential
benefits of compassion-based interventions for people with long-term physical conditions
and discusses recommendations for further intervention research and development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020
Event9th Annual Conference of the Association for Researchers in Psychology and health (ARPH) 2020 - Hotel Zuiderduin, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands
Duration: 30 Jan 202031 Jan 2020
Conference number: 9

Conference

Conference9th Annual Conference of the Association for Researchers in Psychology and health (ARPH) 2020
Abbreviated titleARPH 2020
CountryNetherlands
CityEgmond aan Zee
Period30/01/2031/01/20

Keywords

  • compassion
  • Intervention
  • mixed methods
  • Review article

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