Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Do spiritual patients want spiritual interventions?: A qualitative exploration of underserved cancer patients' perspectives on religion and spirituality

  • Emma M. Stein (a1), Evelyn Kolidas (a2) and Alyson Moadel (a2)
Abstract
AbstractObjective:

This study examines religion and spirituality among advanced cancer patients from an underserved, ethnically-diverse population by exploring patient conceptualizations of religion and spirituality, the role of religion and spirituality in coping with cancer, and patient interest in spiritual support.

Method:

Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients who had participated in a study of a “mind-body” support group for patients with all cancer types. Analysis based on grounded theory was utilized to identify themes and theoretical constructs.

Results:

With regard to patient conceptualizations of religion and spirituality, three categories emerged: (1) Spirituality is intertwined with organized religion; (2) Religion is one manifestation of the broader construct of spirituality; (3) Religion and spirituality are completely independent, with spirituality being desirable and religion not. Religion and spirituality played a central role in patients' coping with cancer, providing comfort, hope, and meaning. Patients diverged when it came to spiritual support, with some enthusiastic about interventions incorporating their spiritual values and others stating that they already get this support through religious communities.

Significance of results:

Spirituality plays a central role in the cancer experience of this underserved ethnically-diverse population. While spirituality seems to be a universal concern in advanced cancer patients, the meaning of spirituality differs across individuals, with some equating it with organized religion and others taking a more individualized approach. It is important that psychosocial interventions are developed to address this concern. Future research is needed to further explore the different ways that patients conceptualize spirituality and to develop spiritually-based treatments that are not “one size fits all.”

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Emma Stein, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, 1165 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461. E-mail: steine1@mskcc.org
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S.M. Alferi , C.S. Carver , M.H. Antoni , (2001). An exploratory study of social support, distress, and life disruption among low-income Hispanic women under treatment for early stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 20, 4146.

T.A. Balboni , L.C. Vanderwerker , S.D. Block , (2007). Religiousness and spiritual support among advanced cancer patients and associations with end-of-life treatment preferences and quality of life. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 25, 555560.

J.N. Bourjolly & K.B. Hirshman (2001). Similarities in coping strategies but differences in sources of support among African American and white women coping with breast cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 19, 1735.

J.N. Bourjolly , T.S. Kerson & I.F. Nuamah (1999). A comparison of social functioning among black and white women with breast cancer. Social Work in Health Care, 28, 120.

M.J. Brady , A.H. Peterman , G. Fitchett , (1999). A case for including spirituality in quality of life measurement in oncology. Psychooncology, 8, 417428.

W. Breitbart , B. Rosenfeld , C. Gibson , (2010). Meaning-centered group psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Psychooncology, 19, 2128.

B. Cole & K. Pargament (1999). Re-creating your life: a spiritual/psychotherapeutic intervention for people diagnosed with cancer. Psychooncology, 8, 395407.

J. Culver , P. Arena , S. Wimberly , (2004). Coping among African-American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White women recently treated for early stage breast cancer. Psychology and Health, 19, 157166.

P.C. Hill & K.I. Pargament (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality. Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 6474.

K. Hodgkinson , P. Butow , G.E. Hunt , (2007). The development and evaluation of a measure to assess cancer survivors' unmet supportive care needs: The CaSUN (Cancer Survivors' Unmet Needs measure). Psychooncology, 16, 796804.

R. Jenkins & K. Pargament (1995). Religion and spirituality as resources for coping with cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 13, 5174.

H.G. Koenig (1998). Religious attitudes and practices of hospitalized medically ill older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13, 213224.

H.G. Koenig (2004). Religion, spirituality, and medicine: Research findings and implications for clinical practice. Southern Medical Journal, 97, 11941200.

H.G. Koenig , M.E. McCullough & D.B. Larson (2001). Handbook of Religion and Health. New York: Oxford University Press.

J.L. Kristeller , M. Rhodes , L.D. Cripe , (2005). Oncologist assisted spiritual intervention study (OASIS): patient acceptability and initial evidence of effects. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 35, 329347.

J.L. Kristeller , V. Sheets , T. Johnson , (2011). Understanding religious and spiritual influences on adjustment to cancer: individual patterns and differences. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 34, 550561.

M.M. Lee , S.S. Lin , M.R. Wrensch , (2000). Alternative therapies used by women with breast cancer in four ethnic populations. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 92, 4247.

H.R. Lin & S.M. Bauer-Wu (2003). Psycho-spiritual well-being in patients with advanced cancer: an integrative review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 44, 6980.

T.A. Maugans (1996). The Spiritual history. Archives of Family Medicine, 5, 1116.

C.S. McClain , B. Rosenfeld & W. Breitbart (2003). Effect of spiritual well-being on end-of- life despair in terminally-ill cancer patients. Lancet, 361, 16031607.

B.E. Miller , B. Pittman & C. Strong (2003). Gynecologic cancer patients' psychosocial needs and their views on the physician's role in meeting those needs. International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, 13, 111119.

A. Moadel , C. Morgan , A. Fatone , (1999). Seeking meaning and hope: Self-reported spiritual and existential needs among an ethnically-diverse cancer patient population. Psychooncology, 8, 378385.

C.J. Nelson , B. Rosenfeld , W. Breitbart , (2002). Spirituality, religion, and depression in the terminally ill. Psychosomatics, 43, 213220.

J.R. Peteet (1985). Religious issues presented by cancer patients seen in psychiatric consultation. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 3, 5366.

C.M. Puchalski (2002). Spirituality and end-of-life care: a time for listening and caring. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 5, 289294.

J.A. Roberts , D. Brown , T. Elkins , (1997). Factors influencing views of patients with gynecologic cancer about end-of-life decisions. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 176, 166172.

G. True , E.J. Phipps , L.E. Braitman , (2005). Treatment preferences and advance care planning at end of life: the role of ethnicity and spiritual coping in cancer patients. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 174179.

E. Vellone , M.L. Rega , C. Galletti , (2006). Hope and related variables in Italian cancer patients. Cancer Nursing, 29, 356366.

B.J. Zinnbauer , K.I. Pargament , B C. Cole , (1997). Religion and spirituality: Unfuzzying the fuzzy. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 36, 549564.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Palliative & Supportive Care
  • ISSN: 1478-9515
  • EISSN: 1478-9523
  • URL: /core/journals/palliative-and-supportive-care
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: