Association of Religiosity and Spirituality with the Perception of Cancer Patients’ Spiritual Wellbeing and Spiritual Needs
The aim was to determine the association of religiosity and spirituality with cancer patients’ perception of their spiritual wellbeing and unmet spiritual needs.
Methods. The cross-sectional study was performed in nursing and supportive treatment units. The data were collected between January and November, 2018. In total, 273 cancer patients participated in the study. Spiritual wellbeing was assessed with Spiritual Health Scale (SHALOM) developed by John Fisher (2010) and spiritual needs were measured with the Spiritual Needs Questionnaire (SpNQ), developed by Arndt Büssing (2010).
Results. The age of patients varied from 32 years to 96 years with the mean of 67.8 ± 10.8. There were more female patients (58.0%) than male (42.0%). The majority were affiliated with the Roman Catholic religion (95.9%), two patients (1.4%) were Russian Orthodox, and three (2.1%) were Russian Orthodox Old Believers.
The scores on each domain of SHALOM and SpNQ were compared in relation to self-assessed religiosity and spirituality of respondents. The results revealed signiﬁ cant associations as patients who noted being religious and spiritual rated their spiritual wellbeing and spiritual needs higher (3.89 ± 0.51) than non-religious (3.40 ± 0.38) and nonspiritual ones (2.44 ± 0.63). The personal, communal, and environmental domains of spiritual wellbeing on both SHALOM domains (ideals and lived experience) and the giving/generativity and forgiveness needs dimension of the SpNQ scale were rated higher by nonreligious, but spiritual respondents in comparison with the non-religious and non-spiritual group. Spiritual needs on four dimensions inter-correlated stronger among religious patients than among spiritual patients (Spearman’s rho 0.524 and 0.471, respectively). The strongest associations were observed between the SHALOM’s transcendental domain and religious and existential needs. Similarly, the strongest correlation was observed between dissonance on transcendental spiritual wellbeing and religious needs.
The spiritual wellbeing on the SHALOM’s lived experience domains was more strongly related to all spiritual needs than spiritual wellbeing on the SHALOM’s ideal domains.
Conclusions. Individual sense of religiosity and spirituality in personal life is associated with spiritual wellbeing and unmet spiritual needs of cancer patients. Even if religious
and spiritual believes are very personal and private matters, spiritual needs and spiritual wellbeing should be part of cancer patient’s comprehensive health and care assessment and planning.
Correspondence to L. Spirgienė Correspondence to L. Spirgienė, Department of Nursing and Care, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eivenių 4, LT‑50009 Kaunas, Lithuania E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org