Importance of Psychological Research in Palliative Care: Barriers in its Development

Joaquín T. Limonero* and Francisco Gil-Moncayo

Importance of Psychological Research in Palliative Care: Barriers in its Development.

Diseases in general, and particularly those that threat the continuation of life, may affect the person in diverse manners causing suffering or emotional distress. At the end of life, suffering may be caused by different dimensions, and these dimensions can contribute separately or in an accumulative way to the experience of suffering. Consequently, the problems related to one dimension can cause or increase others
leading to total suffering.

In palliative care the unit of care is the whole person, both the patient and significant others, with the well-being as the goal. To get this aim a multidisciplinary palliative health care team embraces the principles of holistic care with inclusion of psychosocial care as well as physical care.

Taking in mind the interactive effects of the integrated dimensions of suffering, research on the psychosocial aspects in palliative care is a basic task for later apply this knowledge in the care of the patient and
his family to provide comfort or diminish suffering.

In psychological research, in many cases, the complexity of construct to study has been
conceptualized in various ways, aspect that difficult research. It is particularly
important to provide as clear a definition as possible for what is assessed.

For example, the complexity of the meaning of life construct or the well-being construct reflects a lack of consensus among
researchers as to what constitutes the essential dimensions of these constructs. One of the crucial aspects of psychological assessment is related to the instruments of assessment or screening used.

Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2014; 1(1): 1-3. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-1-101