Journal article Open Access

Reestablishment of Hope as an Intervention for a Patient with Cystic Fibrosis Awaiting Lung Transplantation

Anbar, Ran D.; Murthy, Vaani V.

Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) experience a progressive deterioration in health leading to a shortened life expectancy with concomitant psychologic challenges that also may require intervention. Approaches to address psychologic dysfunction include insight-oriented therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, massage, music therapy, relaxation, and family therapy. Patients who learn to use coping strategies are more likely to adhere to treatment, which helps improve both their physical and psychologic well-being. Unique stressors arise for patients awaiting lung transplant as a result of their advanced state of disease along with their fear of death before donor lungs become available. This case report demonstrates some of the psychologic struggles faced by a 10-year-old with CF as he awaited lung transplantation, which led to a loss of hope and his request for withdrawal of care. Encouraging of the patient to express how his life might be improved yielded changes in his management that restored his hopefulness, and allowed him to survive long enough to undergo successful lung transplantation. Thus, reestablishment of hope might be studied as an additional intervention to help improve the well-being of patients who are seriously ill.
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