Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A review on how meditation could be used to comfort the terminally ill

Lookup NU author(s): Reverend Bryan Vernon


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014. Objective: Our objective was to review how meditation could comfort the terminally ill. Method: Our methodology was a literature search, which included books, journals, papers in collections, and online databases. The main search engines employed were Google Scholar and the Durham University Library. The main databases consulted were the Christian Meditation Centre, Project Meditation, and Stress-Related Facts and Well-Being at Monash. We were specifically interested in data acquired from clinical and nonclinical trials. The arguments needed to be based on qualitative and quantitative scientific data. Papers were published between 1985 and 2014. We then subdivided the review into three subcategories: physical, emotional, and self-awareness. When reviewing each category, we put our results into tabular form. In each table, we noted the percentage of terminally ill patients (TIPs) and non-terminally ill patients (NTIPs), and whether meditation had comforted them. Results: Our review demonstrated that there are many areas that have yet to be researched. First, very little work has been done on how meditation affects the physical health of TIPs, including such variables as blood pressure, chronic pain, and sleeping patterns. However, no research has been done on heart disease, hypertension, depression, among others. Second, virtually no research has been conducted on how meditation affects the mental health of TIPs. Notably neglected areas include anxiety, compliance, depression, and stress. Third, no research has been done on whether meditation increases self-awareness in TIPs. In each of these cases, most NTIPs reacted positively; however, no research has been done on why TIPs reacted differently. Significance of Results: Our results demonstrate the need for further research on how meditation affects terminally ill patients. In turn, this would enrich the debate on whether meditation should be prescribed for the dying.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ball MS, Vernon B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Palliative and Supportive Care

Year: 2015

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 1469-1472

Print publication date: 01/10/2015

Online publication date: 30/10/2014

Acceptance date: 27/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1478-9515

ISSN (electronic): 1478-9523

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1478951514001308

PubMed id: 25354470