Between spiritual wellbeing and spiritual distress: possible related factors in elderly patients with cancer

Sílvia Caldeira, Emilia Campos de Carvalho, Margarida Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This article describes the assessment of the spiritual wellbeing of elderly patients with cancer submitted to chemotherapy and possible predictive factors of the spiritual distress diagnosis. Methodology: this is a methodological study for clinical validation of a nursing diagnosis, using interviews to assist in completing the form. Results: 45 elderly patients participated in this study, Catholics, mostly female, diagnosed with breast cancer, average age of 70.3 years. The prevalence of spiritual distress was of 42%; 24.4% of the elderly patients were under anti-depressant medication. A significant association was noted between spiritual distress, antidepressant medication and level of education; an increase (not significant) was acknowledged at the start of the treatment. Conclusion: these results emphasize the relevance of clarifying this diagnosis and the responsibility of nurses to provide spiritual care to patients. Interventions should be planned appropriately every time a nursing diagnosis is identified as a complex answer and for which pharmacological treatment is not sufficient.
Translated title of the contributionEntre o bem-estar espiritual e a angústia espiritual: possíveis fatores relacionados a idosos com cancro
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Nursing
  • Spirituality
  • Nursing diagnosis
  • Aged
  • Neoplasms


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