JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Meaning, spirituality, and wellness in cancer survivors

Mary L S Vachon
Seminars in Oncology Nursing 2008, 24 (3): 218-25
18687268

OBJECTIVES: To explore the concepts of meaning, spirituality, and wellness in cancer survivors.

DATA SOURCES: Review and research articles, books, and personal experience as a nurse psychotherapist and as a cancer survivor.

CONCLUSION: Cancer survivors often rely on their religious and spiritual beliefs as a way of deriving meaning during their illness experience and survivorship, as well as a way of coping with and coming to terms with the concept of death. The measurement of religion and spirituality in health and cancer survivorship is challenging because of the difficulty in defining terms and in developing ways of measuring the concepts.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses have the opportunity to explore the meaning of cancer and spirituality in the lives of their patients. Such discussions can allow for the introduction of concepts of wellness including changes in lifestyle habits and social support that may improve quality of life for cancer survivors.

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