Spiritual distress and religious involvement among cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: a longitudinal study

Helga Martins*, Tiago D. Domingues, Sílvia Caldeira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the trajectories of spiritual distress and religious involvement among cancer patients during chemotherapy. Methods: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted over 15 months with quarterly data collection, in a total of with five cut points. Data collection was applied a questionnaire that embraced sociodemographic characteristics, clinical profile, Spiritual Distress Scale, and Belief into Action Scale. Regarding, data analysis was performed univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics, and the study was approved by the Ethics Committee. Findings: From the 322 cancer patients at the beginning, the attrition rate was 17.5% in the last time point. Most of participants were women (56.6%), with an average age of 60.3 years, and had a religious affiliation (93.7%). Statistically significant values were found of spiritual distress and religious involvement across the five cuts. At the end of 3 months after starting chemotherapy, the highest value of spiritual distress and the lowest value of religious involvement were reached. Conclusions: Cancer patients who are submitted to chemotherapy, after 3 months of treatment experience the peak of spiritual distress and the lowest value of religious involvement. This critical period for nurses’ is required a massive approach regarding spiritual and religious needs. Implications for nursing practice: Therefore, knowing the trajectories of spiritual distress and religious involvement during a certain period allows for the anticipating of planning of nursing therapeutic interventions in order to promote spiritual health and spiritual well-being outcomes in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of nursing knowledge
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Longitudinal studies
  • Meoplasms
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

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