Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 612–622 | Cite as

Image of God, Religion, Spirituality, and Life Changes in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Qualitative Approach

Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Religion/spirituality Worldview Psychological well-being Altruism Egocentrism 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.College of NursingUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA

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