Early research on patients with cancer confronting terminal illness indicates "cognitive acceptance and emotional acceptance are distinct but related phenomena."
A team of researchers interested in exploring how patients’ emotional adjustment affects their end-of-life decisions and their quality of life developed a tool to assess patients' sense of acceptance, calmness and peace, as well as patients’ sense of struggle about their terminal prognosis.
After administering their 12-item PEACE scale -- for Peace, Equanimity, and Acceptance in the Cancer Experience -- researchers observed two major dimensions in patients’ adjustment at the end of life: (1) peaceful acceptance and (2) struggle with illness.
Intuitively it seems obvious that patients' emotional reactions to -- and processing of -- a terminal prognosis impact their end-of-life treatment decisions and quality of life. Now the PEACE scale provides a meaningful tool for exploring how patients may come to terms with a terminal illness.
Thus, it may play a role in the search for ways to help terminally ill patients get good care and live as fully as possible—in other words, continue to be Healthy Survivors to the day they die.