The Effects of Spirituality on Well-Being of People With Lung Cancer

Martha Gene Meraviglia

ONF 2004, 31(1), 89-94. DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.89-94

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the effects of spirituality on the sense of well-being of people with lung cancer.

Design: Descriptive, correlational study.

Setting: Urban and rural oncology and radiation centers.

Sample: 60 adults ranging from 33-83 years of age. Most participants had non-small cell lung cancer and were female, Caucasian, and older than 50.

Methods: Participants completed a questionnaire composed of six survey instruments: Life Attitude Profile-Revised, Adapted Prayer Scale, Index of Well-Being, Symptom Distress Scale, a background information sheet, and a cancer characteristics questionnaire. Correlations among study concepts were examined, and multiple regression analysis was used to determine the effects of spirituality.

Main Research Variables: Meaning in life, prayer activities and experiences, symptom distress, and psychological well-being.

Findings: Higher meaning in life scores were associated with higher psychological well-being and lower symptom distress scores. Higher prayer scores were associated with higher psychological well-being scores. Regression analysis indicated that meaning in life mediated the relationship between functional status and physical responses to lung cancer and explained 9% of the variance in symptom distress. Prayer mediated the relationship between current physical health and psychological responses and explained 10% of the variance in psychological well-being.

Conclusions: Aspects of spirituality, meaning in life, and prayer have positive effects on psychological and physical responses in this group of people with lung cancer.

Implications for Nursing: This research provides knowledge about spirituality and sense of well-being to guide the care of people with lung cancer.

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