Bornet, M. A., Bernard, M., Jaques, C., Rubli Truchard, E., Borasio, G. D., and Jox, R. J.
CONTEXT: The will to live (WTL) is an important factor to consider in the context of providing resource-oriented palliative care. Until now, there has been no major review of the existing research on this subject.
OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study is to summarize the state of research concerning instruments that assess the WTL. The secondary objective is to explore the theoretical models and psychometric properties of these instruments, in studies where these instruments were initially presented. The tertiary objective is to identify, among all studies where these instruments have been used, the intensity of the WTL, and factors associated with it.
METHODS: We conducted a scoping review, including studies that were designed to assess the WTL among participants in all settings. Records were systematically searched from seven bibliographic databases with no date limitations up to August 2020.
RESULTS: Of the 3078 records screened, 281 were examined in detail and 111 were included in the synthesis. A total of 25 different instruments quantitatively assessing the WTL are presented. Most are single-question tools and rate intensity. The underlying concepts and psychometric properties are incompletely explained. Lack of crossreferencing is apparent. The intensity of the WTL is high, even among people with significant health impairment, and is frequently associated with different factors, such as resilience and quality of life.
CONCLUSION: A considerable yet unconnected body of studies assesses the WTL. Its assessment in clinical routine could promote resource-oriented and patient-centered care.
Codes for special purposes Diseases of and symptoms related to the circulatory system Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue Diseases of and symptoms related to the nervous system Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms Neoplasms and related symptoms