A Review of the Construct of Demoralization: History, Definitions, and Future Directions for Palliative Care.

Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2016 Feb 7;33(1):93-101. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Monash University, Clayton, Australia Cabrini Monash Psycho-oncology, Cabrini Health, Malvern, Australia.

Demoralization has been the subject of discussion in relation to end-of-life care. It is characterized by hopelessness and helplessness due to a loss of purpose and meaning. The purpose of this review was to consolidate the conceptual understanding of demoralization and argue for its existence as a psychiatric syndrome. The history of the construct is explored, including the nature of existential distress and related psychological conditions that precipitate demoralization. Recent definitions of demoralization are described and differentiated from similar constructs. Future directions are highlighted, specifically in relation to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of demoralization in palliative care. Overall, demoralization is a clinically useful construct for those facing existential threat, guiding the clinician toward efforts to restore morale, meaning, and purpose.

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049909114553461DOI Listing
February 2016
13 Reads

Publication Analysis

Top Keywords

care demoralization
8
palliative care
8
future directions
8
meaning purpose
8
demoralization
7
understanding demoralization
4
demoralization argue
4
directions highlighted
4
constructs future
4
differentiated constructs
4
argue existence
4
highlighted relation
4
assessment diagnosis
4
purpose review
4
purpose meaning
4
review consolidate
4
relation assessment
4
existence psychiatric
4
consolidate conceptual
4
conceptual understanding
4

Similar Publications