Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2017 Dec;20(4):221-225. 10.14475/kjhpc.2017.20.4.221.

The Theory of Meaning in Hospice Care

  • 1The Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy, Abilene, USA. patricia.starck@yahoo.com


Care for the human spirit is a core component of quality end-of-life care. Logotherapy, based on the premise that the primary motivation of human beings is to find meaning and purpose in life, can be helpful in providing care for patients, families, and loved ones in hospice care. The use of Socratic dialog in posing questions about one's life experiences, values, and attitudes is a useful method of evoking reflection. Guidance for finding meaning, even until one's last moments, can be found in the three categories: (a) tasks or deeds, (b) experiences of love and beauty, and (c) attitudes chosen in spite of a fate that cannot be changed. Self-transcendence, defined as getting outside the self for the good of others, can add meaning to life. A growing body of research concerning meaning-centered therapy is promising for improving spiritual well-being and a sense of meaning and purpose in life.


Hospice care; Spirituality; Psychological Stress
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