Effect of Prayer on Spiritual Well-being in Cancer Patients.

Author

Seyedfatemi N, Rezaei M, Givari A and Hoseini F.

Proceeding

Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Date

17/7/2007

Keyword

Spiritual well-being, Prayer, cancer patients.

Abstract

Spiritual well-bing is a unique power that harmonizes several dimensions of human’s life and is essential for coping with illness. Chronic illnesses such as cancer, causes crises in physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions. Prayer can be a source to resist these crises especially, in spiritual domain. This correlational study has been conducted to examine the impact of prayer on the spiritual well-being of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who were referrals to oncology wards of Iran and Tehran Medical Sciences Universities. About 360 cancer patients who met the study criteria of being more than 20 years of age, able to read and write, aware of their illnesses, and referred to the selected medical centers for chemotherapy,  signed informed consent participated in this study. The spiritual well-being was assessed by utilizing the questionnaire developed by Paloutzian & Ellison (1989) and prayer was measured by Paloma & Pandleton(1991) and Meraviglia (2002). The findings revealed that the total mean score for spiritual well-being of patients was estimated to be about (98/35 ± 14/36) and the spiritual well-being of the patients stands at the high level. The mean score for religious and existential well-being are reported to be (54/67 ± 5/92) and (43/67 ± 10/01) respectively. The findings showed that the total mean score for the frequency of prayer in these patients were 94/5±12/98 which is indicated to be more in contrast with the obtained outcomes of similar studies. Statistical tests showed prayer has a strong positive effect on spiritual wellbeing of cancer patients (r=0/74, p=0/00). Significant relations were showed between with prayer practice, previous prayer experience, attitude toward prayer with spiritual well being respectively, (r=0.61, p=0.00), (r=0.70, p=0.00) and (r=0.59, p=0.00). A strong relationship exists among prayer and spiritual-wellbeing of patients with cancer. The findings support healthcare providers encouraging patients diagnosed with life-threatening diseases to explore their spirituality as an effective resource for dealing with the physical and psychological responses to cancer.