Image of God, Religion, Spirituality, and Life Changes in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Approach
- 1k Downloads
Religion and spirituality are much studied coping mechanisms; however, their relationship to changes in behaviors, relationships, and goals is unclear. This study explored the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis on religion/faith and changes in behaviors, relationship, or goals. In this qualitative study, women, who participated in a larger, quantitative study, completed written responses to questions regarding the role of religion/faith in their lives, the impact of their diagnosis on their image of God and on faith/religious beliefs, and any changes in behaviors, relationships, or life goals were examined. Based on previous findings noting differences in psychological outcomes based on a higher (HE) or lesser (LE) engaged view of God, 28 (14 HE; 14 LE) women were included in the analysis. Awareness of life and its fleeting nature was common to all. Ensuing behaviors varied from a need to focus on self-improvement—egocentrism (LE)—to a need to focus on using their experiences to help others—altruism (HE). Study results suggest that seemingly small, but highly meaningful, differences based on one’s worldview result in considerably different attitudinal and behavioral outcomes.
KeywordsReligion/spirituality Worldview Psychological well-being Altruism Egocentrism
- Archer, M. S., Collier, A., & Porpora, D. V. (2004). Transcendence: Critical realism and God. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Bader, C., & Froese, P. (2005). Images of God: The effect of personal theologies on moral attitudes, political affiliations, and religious behavior. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 1(11), 1–24. www.religjournal.com.
- Boscaglia, N., Clarke, D. M., Jobling, T. W., & Quinn, M. A. (2005). The contribution of spirituality and spiritual coping to anxiety and depression in women with a recent diagnosis of gynecological cancer. International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, 15(5), 755–761. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1438.2005.00248.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cole, B. S., Hopkins, C. M., Tisak, J., Steel, J. L., & Carr, B. I. (2008). Assessing spiritual growth and spiritual decline following a diagnosis of cancer: Reliability and validity of the Spiritual Transformation Scale. Psycho-oncology, 17(2), 112–121. doi:10.1002/pon.1207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- de Jager Meezenbroek, E., Garssen, B., van den Berg, M., van Dierendonck, D., Visser, A., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2012). Measuring spirituality as a universal human experience: A review of spirituality questionnaires. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(2), 336–354. doi:10.1007/s10943-010-9376-1.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Frankl, V. E. (1978). The unheard cry for meaning: Psychotherapy and humanism. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
- Harris, S. K., Sherritt, L. R., Holder, D. W., Kulig, J., Shrier, L. A., & Knight, J. R. (2007). Reliability and validity of the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality among adolescents. Journal of Religion and Health, 47(4), 438–457. doi:10.1007/s10943-007-9154-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hesse, H. http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/8569.html. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- Hill, P. C., & Hood, R. W. (1999). Measures of religiosity. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.Google Scholar
- Idler, E. L., Musick, M. A., Ellison, C. G., George, L. K., Krause, N., Ory, M. G., et al. (2003). Measuring multiple dimensions of religion and spirituality for health research: Conceptual background and findings from the 1998 General Social Survey. Research on Aging, 25(4), 327–365. doi:10.1177/0164027503025004001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Merriam-Webster. (2014). Merriam-Webster online dictionary. http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/truth. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., Tarakeshwar, N., & Hahn, J. (2004). Religious coping methods as predictors of psychological, physical and spiritual outcomes among medically ill elderly patients: A two-year longitudinal study. Journal of Health Psychology, 9(6), 713–730. doi:10.1177/1359105304045366.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Puchalski, C., Ferrell, B., Virani, R., Otis-Green, S., Baird, P., Bull, J., et al. (2009). Improving the quality of spiritual care as a dimension of palliative care: The report of the consensus conference. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12(10), 885–904. doi:10.1089/jpm.2009.0142.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- QSR International Pty Ltd. (2010). NVivo 9 qualitatitve data analysis software, version 9. http://download.qsrinternational.com/Document/NVivo9/NVivo9-Getting-Started-Guide.pdf. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- Selman, L., Harding, R., Gysels, M., Speck, P., & Higginson, I. J. (2011). The measurement of spirituality in palliative care and the content of tools validated cross-culturally: A systematic review. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 41(4), 728–753. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.06.023.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vidal, C. (2008). Wat is een wereldbeeld? (What is a worldview?). In H. Van Belle & J. Van der Veken (Eds.), Nieuwheid denken. De wetenschappen en het creatieve aspect van de werkelijkheid. Leuven: Acco.Google Scholar