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Assessment and Implementation of Spirituality and Religiosity in Cancer Care

Penny Richardson
CJON 2012, 16(4), E150-E155 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.E150-E155

Spirituality and religiosity have been defined by several governing bodies to mean everything from purpose in life, beliefs, faith, and hope, to transcendence with a higher being. The absence of uniformity regarding the components of spirituality and religiosity has created a barrier for professional caregivers in identifying, assessing, and providing spiritual needs. The diagnosis of cancer often leads patients to contemplate their own mortality and frequently presents unique challenges to their belief system. Spirituality is a unique component of holistic care. When appropriately addressed, it may strongly influence positive patient outcomes during the cancer journey. Consequently, nurses should actively participate in and incorporate the provision of spiritual care into the treatment plan for each patient with cancer or at least be able to assess those needs and make sure they are being addressed.

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