Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie


Self-compassion and chronic diseases: a systematic literature review


Type of assignment:                    BA

Internal or external?:                   Internal

Maximum number of students:   2

Individual collecting of data?       No

Type of research:                         Systematic literature review  

Description of the assignment:

Self-compassion refers to a mild, warm and friendly attitude to oneself in times of difficulties. Learning self-compassion skills can be highly relevant for patients with chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, heart disease and chronic pain. We think that self-compassion may help patients to cope with difficult symptoms and emotions that they may encounter as a result of their disease. These include pain, fatigue, bodily changes, restriction in psychical and social functioning, guilt, grief over a lost envisioned life, anger or anxiety.

Self-compassion based interventions have been shown effective improving mental wellbeing, decreasing depressive feelings, and improving (perseverance in conducting) health behavior. However, studies in chronic illness patients are scarce. Consequently, not much is known about the relations and applications of self-compassion in chronic diseases.

In this study you will conduct a systematic literature review concerning the topic of self-compassion in chronic diseases.  Possible research questions include: (1) to what extent is self-compassion in chronic patients related to well-being, self-management, quality of life and adaptation to disease? Or: (2) Which self-compassion interventions for patients with chronic disease are described in literature and which elements do they apply? Or (3) what are effects of self-compassion interventions in patients with chronic diseases? In cooperation with your supervisors, you will formulate a research question as well as search- and selection criteria and execute the search. 

Who are we looking for?

Students who are interested in the topic of self-compassion and who would like to conduct a systematic literature review.

What are we offering?

Opportunity to gain experience with conducting a systematic literature review es New Roman


Judith Austin and dr. Stans Drossaert