Objective To test a conceptual model of sources of spiritual well-being in patients facing life-limiting disease.
Design Cross-sectional survey.
Setting Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.
Participants 747 patients with stage IV gastrointestinal, breast, genitourinary or gynaecological cancer, or stage IIIA, IIIB or IV lung cancer, recruited from 2002 to 2008.
Main outcome measure Spiritual well-being as assessed by the FACIT-Sp-12.
Results Using structural equation modelling, spiritual well-being was specified as being predicted by religiosity, self-esteem, social relatedness and the physical burden of disease. The model had a good fit, Comparative Fit Index=0.96, Non-normed Fit Index=0.94, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation=0.057. Standardised path coefficients relating each factor to spiritual well-being were as follows: religiosity 0.50, social relatedness 0.28, self-esteem 0.26 and physical burden −0.11.
Conclusions The authors confirmed our theoretical model in which spiritual well-being is positively associated with religiosity, self-esteem and social relatedness, and is negatively associated with physical suffering. Our findings support a multidimensional approach to spiritual well-being that addresses not only religious issues, but also pain and symptom control, and the potentially damaging effects of advanced disease on self-worth and close relationships. The spiritually informed clinical encounter may be one in which sufficient time and opportunity for reflection are afforded to consider illness trajectories and treatment decisions in the context of religious beliefs and personal values, self-worth, support systems and concerns about dependency.
- Accepted 9 June 2011.
- Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR #MOP-62861 and #MOP-74684; G Rodin) and York University (L Gagliese). The funders had no role in the conception, analysis, writing and submission of this article.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.