Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Development and evaluation of a WeChat-based life review programme for patients with cancer: protocol for a randomised controlled trial
  1. Xiaoling Zhang,
  2. Huimin Xiao
  1. School of Nursing, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Huimin Xiao; huimin_xiao{at}


Introduction Patients with cancer often suffer from considerable distress. Life review is a process of recalling, evaluating and integrating life experiences to alleviate a sense of despair and achieve self-integrity. Empirical data have supported the fact that life review is an effective psychological intervention, but it is not always accessible to patients with cancer. There is little evidence of internet-based life review programmes tailored to patients with cancer. This study aims to develop a WeChat-based life review programme and evaluate its effectiveness on the psycho-spiritual well-being of patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods and analysis A single-centre randomised parallel group superiority design will be used. Patients with cancer will be randomised, to either a control group, or to an experimental group receiving a 6-week WeChat-based life review programme. The programme, which was mainly developed based on Erikson’s psycho-social development theory and Reed’s self-transcendence theory, provides synchronous and asynchronous communication modes for patients to review their life. The former is real-time communication, providing an e-life review interview guided by a facilitator online. The latter is not simultaneously dialogic and is used to interact with patients before and after a life review interview through Memory Prompts, Review Extraction, Mind Space and E-legacy products. The primary outcomes include anxiety, depression and self-transcendence, and the secondary outcomes are meaning in life and hope. These will be measured at baseline, and immediately, at 3 months, and at 6 months after the programme’s conclusion.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval has been obtained from the Biological and Medical Research Ethics Committee of the corresponding author’s university (IRB Ref No: 2016/00020). The trial results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at national and international conferences.

Trial registration number ChiCTR-IOR-17011998.

  • internet
  • life review
  • cancer
  • nursing
  • psychological intervention

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from


  • Contributors HMX undertook the conception of the study, conducted critical revision of the manuscript and obtained funding and supervision. XLZ mainly designed the study and drafted the manuscript. Both authors have reviewed and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding This study is funded by Fujian Provincial National Nature Science [2017J01814] and Fujian Provincial Health Commission [2017-CX-35].

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was obtained from the Biological and Medical Research Ethics Committee of Fujian University (IRB Ref No: 2016/00020) in July 2017.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.