Effects of bereavement life review on spiritual well-being and depression

Michiyo Ando, Tatsuya Morita, Mitsunori Miyashita, Makiko Sanjo, Haruko Kira, Yasuo Shima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Some bereaved families experience low spiritual well-being, such as lack of meaning of life or purpose and psychological distress like severe depression. Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the Bereavement Life Review on the spiritual well-being of bereaved family members. The secondary aim was to investigate the effects of this therapy on depression. Methods: Participants were 21 bereaved family members who lost loved ones in various palliative care units in Japan. They received the Bereavement Life Review, which consisted of two sessions for about 60 minutes each. In the first session, a bereaved family member reviewed memories with a clinical psychologist and answered some question. After the first session, the clinical psychologist made an album. In the second session, the family member and the clinical psychologist confirmed the accuracy of the contents of the album. The duration of the therapy was two weeks. The family member was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) scale and the Beck Depression Inventory®-II (BDI-II) pre- and postintervention. Results: FACIT-Sp scores increased from 19.9 ± 5.8 to 22.8 ± 5.1 (Z = -2.2, P = 0.028 by Wilcoxon signed-rank test) and BDI scores decreased from 10.8 ± 7.7 to 6.8 ± 5.8 (Z = -3.0, P = 0.003). Conclusions: The Bereavement Life Review has the potential to improve spiritual well-being and decrease depression of bereaved family members. A further study with more participants is required to confirm the present findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Sept


  • bereavement
  • Cancer patients
  • life review
  • psychotherapy
  • spiritual well-being


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