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Spiritual well-being in patients with advanced heart and lung disease

  • E. Alessandra Strada (a1), Peter Homel (a1), Sharon Tennstedt (a2), J. Andrew Billings (a3) and Russell K. Portenoy (a1)...



The purpose of this study was to evaluate levels of spiritual well-being over time in populations with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).


In a prospective, longitudinal study, patients with CHF or COPD (each n = 103) were interviewed at baseline and every 3 months for up to 30 months. At each interview, patients completed: the basic faith subscale of the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) questionnaire, the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS), the Rand Mental Health Inventory (MHI), the Multidimensional Index of Life Quality (MILQ), the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), and the Short Portable Mental Health Questionnaire (SPMSQ).


The mean age was 65 years, 59% were male, 78% were Caucasian, 50% were married, 29% lived alone, and there was no significant cognitive impairment. Baseline median FACIT-Sp score was 10.0 on a scale of 0–16. FACIT-Sp scores did not change over time and multivariate longitudinal analysis revealed higher scores for black patients and lower scores for those with more symptom distress on the MSAS-Global Distress Index (GDI) (both p = 0.02). On a separate multivariate longitudinal analysis, MILQ scores were positively associated with the FACIT-Sp and the MHI, and negatively associated with the MSAS-GDI and the SIP (all p-values < 0.001).

Significance of results:

In advanced CHF and COPD, spiritual well-being remains stable over time, it varies by race and symptom distress, and contributes to quality of life, in combination with symptom distress, mental health and physical functioning.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: E. Alessandra Strada, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, Beth Israel Medical Center, 12 Baird Hall, 17th St. at 1st Ave., New York NY 10003. E-mail:


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