Dr. Gary Rodin, 19.09.2019, 17-18 Uhr

Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) - A Psychotherapeutic Approach to Early Palliative Care

There is increasing evidence for the value of early palliative care, the psychological dimensions of which may be the most important at early stages of disease.  However, much less systematic attention has been paid to the psychological care of patients with advanced disease than to the management of their physical symptoms.    Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM) is a novel 3-6 session semistructured psychotherapeutic intervention designed to fill this gap and to be integrated with both cancer care and palliative care.   CALM addresses four major content domains in which adaptive challenges are common, if not inevitable.  These are:  navigating the health care system and communicating with health care providers, personal relationships and the sense of identity, the sense of meaning and facing the end of life.   The process of CALM also attends to the regulation of emotions and to expanding awareness of the possibilities for living in the face of advanced disease. A large randomized controlled trial comparing CALM to usual care in patients with advanced cancer demonstrated that the CALM is associated with less depression and death anxiety, a greater capacity to communicate with health care providers, to clarify goals and values and to prepare for the end of life.  A global knowledge translation program for training and delivery of CALM is now underway in more than fifteen counties. Further work is needed to determine whether an intervention of this kind can become a standard of care in patients with advanced disease.

Dr. Gary Rodin, Toronto