Table 2

DCMC and DT12 13

Theme/Component of DCMCMeaningRelevance to DT
GenerativityThe concept of dignity is intertwined with an internal need for life to have been purposeful and offer some meaning for others beyond their deathThe DT interview process is audio-recorded transcribed and edited with the patient to develop a legacy or ‘generativity document’. This document is returned to the patient to later share with loved one(s) of their choosing
Continuity of selfBeing able to maintain a sense of self alongside advancing illness symptoms and physical impactsPatients are invited to talk about the issues that are important to them, their personhood, sense of self and perceived identity
Role preservationBeing able to maintain an association with one or more previously held rolesPatients are invited to talk about previous or current roles that integral to their perceived identity
Maintenance of prideAn ability to maintain positive self-regardPatients are invited to talk about achievements or key memories that have enabled them to experience a sense of pride
HopefulnessAn ability to see, achieve and maintain a sense of meaning or purposePatients are invited to engage in a therapeutic process that will help them to achieve a sense of their meaning and purpose
Aftermath concernsWorries or fears about the burden or challenges their death will cause othersPatients are invited to talk about issues that might prepare, support and comfort their loved ones in facing a future without them
Care tenorThe attitude and manner of others when interacting with the patient to promote dignityThe tenor of dignity therapy aims to be empathic, non-judgmental, encouraging and respectful
  • DCMC, Dignity Conserving Model of Care; DT, dignity therapy.