RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Spiritual well-being and depressive symptoms among cancer survivors.

PURPOSE: Depression is common among patients diagnosed with cancer and may be inversely associated with spiritual well-being. While numerous strategies are employed to manage and cope with illness, spiritual well-being has become increasingly important in cancer survivorship research. This study examined the association between spiritual well-being and depressive symptoms.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study utilized self-report data from 102 diverse cancer survivors recruited from peer-based cancer support groups in San Diego County. Depression was measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) and spiritual well-being was measured with the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) comprised of two subscales (Meaning/Peace and Faith).

RESULTS: Hierarchal regression analysis indicated that Meaning/Peace significantly predicted depressive symptoms after adjusting for socio-demographics, cancer stage, time since diagnosis, and Faith (p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that Spiritual Well-Being is a valuable coping mechanism and that Meaning/Peace has a unique advantage over Faith in protecting cancer survivors from the effects of depression symptoms; therefore, turning to Faith as source of strength may improve psychological well-being during survivorship.

IMPLICATIONS: Future programs and healthcare providers should be cognizant of the influential role of spiritual well-being in depression symptoms in an effort to improve psychological well-being among cancer survivors.

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