Background: This case study examines the feasibility of application of an acceptance-based behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), to a patient with end-stage metastatic pancreatic cancer, depression, and anxiety, as a form of integrative palliative care.
Case Presentation: ACT allowed the patient to identify her values of resuming her religious connection, improving relationships with family members and trusted friends, and organizing her affairs before death. As a result, the patient was able to remain engaged in cancer treatments despite side effects that she had previously deemed intolerable. She was able to move toward her values despite health-related and depression-related obstacles. Furthermore, she successfully reconnected with her religious faith, and with her parents, spent time with her family, and deepened relationships with close friends before her death. Her quality of life was much improved by a combination of ACT and cancer treatments, suggesting that ACT may be a feasible mental health adjunct for palliative care in end-stage pancreatic cancer.
Conclusion: ACT was well received by this patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer, improving ability to cope with anxiety, depression, and treatment side effects, thereby accepting and managing her cancer more effectively.
O'Hayer, Catherine Virginia F; O'Hayer, Kevin Mitchell; and Sama, Ashwin, "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Pancreatic Cancer: An Integrative Model of Palliative Care-A Case Report." (2018). Department of Medical Oncology Faculty Papers. Paper 217.
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