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Dignity Therapy is a brief psychosocial intervention that helps improve well being and quality of life of palliative patients, like people affected by cancer or in the early stage of dementia.

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Dignity Therapy (2 days)
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Dignity in Care (1 day) in Luzern

Patients at an advanced age or affected by a serious illness often suffer from a lowered sense of dignity, belonging and quality of life. Developed by Professor Dr Harvey Max Chochinov, Dignity Therapy enables participants to discuss the most meaningful memories, experiences, relationships, and values with a trained Dignity therapist and retain them in a personal document to share. 

Supporting quality of care and patient well-being
Dignity Therapy taps into personal resources, restoring resilience and orientation in  patients and their family. Bolstering a sense of dignity, hope and fostering quality of life, many people in the end stage of life benefit from Dignity Therapy.  Studies repeatedly show the positive effect of increased sense of dignity on patient well-being and quality of care

Evidence based effectiveness

Studies on the effectiveness of Dignity Therapy in cancer patients and their relatives showed: 

  • 91% of patients reported that the interventions had been helpful

  • 76% reported an increased sense of dignity

  • 68% reported that the therapy had given them more meaning in their lives

  • 47% felt a greater desire to live

  • 81% rated the intervention as helpful for the family

Dignity Therapy also reduced sadness and depression and improved spiritual well-being, according to a 2011 study by Chochinov. Patients also felt that the intervention had helped family members. In general, they felt differently perceived and more appreciated by family members.

Dignity Therapy verringert auch Traurigkeit und Depression und verbessert das spirituelle Wohlbefinden, wie eine 2011 durchgeführte Studie von Chochinov zeigt. Patienten hatten ferner das Gefühl, dass die Behandlung auch den Familienmitgliedern geholfen habe. Generell fühlten sie sich von den Familienmitgliedern anders wahrgenommen und mehr geschätzt.


Wirksamkeit klar belegt 

Die Wirksamkeit der Dignity Therapy wurde ursprünglich bei Krebskranken und deren Angehörigen überprüft. Die Resultate in Zahlen:  

  • 91% der Patienten gaben an, dass die Therapie hilfreich gewesen sei,

  • 76% berichteten über ein gesteigertes Würdegefühl,

  • 68% verhalf die Therapie zu mehr Bedeutung im Leben, 

  • 47% verspürten danach mehr Lebenswillen und

  • 81% beurteilten die Intervention als hilfreich für die Familie


Dignity Therapy kann helfen, den Abschied auf eine positive Weise quasi schon vorverarbeiten zu können.

Peter Muijres spricht im Schweizer Fernsehen SRF in der Sendung «Puls» zum Thema Tod und Trauer über die Rolle von Dignity Therapy und führt das Gespräch mit einem Paar durch. Markus Bürgi ist seit drei Jahren an der Seite seiner Freundin Tanja Brito Corona, die an einem unheilbaren Hirntumor leidet. Im Gespräch blickt der Therapeut auf positive Momente in Tanjas Leben zurück – Momente, die für die Angehörigen festgehalten werden und eine bleibende Erinnerung schaffen.



For nursing staff, pastoral workers, therapists and other professionals working with people in old age or with a terminal illness, such as cancer or dementia.

Course objectives 

  • Encourage dignity and self-care in patients

  • Relieve anxiety and depressive feelings

  • Learn how to produce a generativity document for patients to share



Supports people with terminal illnesses such as dementia or cancer, as well as nursing home residents and relatives:  

  • To retrieve strength and orientation from individual life experience

  • To cope with feelings of anxiety, depression and grief

  • To record memorable personal wishes and values



Do you care for people with serious illnesses, disabilities, or age related conditions? Considering patient needs and conditions, Dignity in Care helps improve patients' quality of life.

Course contents

  • Illness related changes in dignity and quality of life

  • The ABCD of dignity conserving care

  • Therapeutical conversation skills 


Drs. Peter Muijres, MA., MSc., PhD. cand.
Psychologist and medical anthropologist

+41 (0) 79 955 90 90

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