• Vol. 46 No. 9
  • 15 September 2017

Mindfulness: A New Paradigm of Psychosocial Care in the Palliative Care Setting in Southeast Asia

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ABSTRACT

Alleviation of suffering in palliative care needs a combination of good symptom control and psychosocial care. The capacity of mindfulness to promote psychological flexibility opens up possibilities of creating a paradigm shift that can potentially change the landscape of psychosocial care. In this review, we attempt to introduce 4 methods to establish mindfulness based on ‘The Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness’, a core text of Theravada Buddhism, followed by a brief comparison of the concepts and practices of mindfulness in different cultures and religions in Southeast Asia. Next, 2 mindfulness-based interventions specifically designed for palliative psychosocial care – mindfulness-based supportive therapy (MBST) and mini-mindfulness meditation (MMM) are introduced. We hypothesise that mindful practices, tailored to the palliative setting, can promote positive psychosocial outcomes.


Alleviation of suffering in palliative care needs a combination of good symptom control and psychosocial care. Psychosocial care is defined as care concerned with the
psychological and emotional well-being of the patient and their family or carers, including issues of self-esteem, insight into and adaptation to the illness and its consequences,
communication, social functioning and relationships.

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