OPEN IN READ APP
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Spirituality and/or religious faith: A means for coping with the effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease?

Mary R O'Brien, David Clark
Palliative & Supportive Care 2015, 13 (6): 1603-14
25851240

OBJECTIVE: The notion of spirituality/religious belief is recognized internationally as a domain within end-of-life care and is important in patients' and carers' quality-of-life. When faced with incurable illness, patients often become more philosophical about their life; many seek comfort in spiritual or religious philosophies. Our intention was to understand how personal spirituality and religious faith might help those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease (ALS/MND) cope with their impending death.

METHOD: Unsolicited narratives (internet and print-published) written by individuals diagnosed with the terminal condition of ALS/MND were analyzed thematically. Narratives from 161 individuals diagnosed with ALS/MND written over a period of 37 years (from 1968 to 2005) were included.

RESULTS: Our findings reveal that religious faith sustains and helps people to avoid despair, and personal spirituality helps them make sense of what is happening to them.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The use of personal narratives by people with ALS/MND has provided a vehicle for sharing their deepest spiritual and religious thoughts with others. The place of spirituality and religious faith within ALS/MND care should not be underestimated. Assessment of religious or spiritual needs should become a routine part of practice and is the responsibility of all members of the multidisciplinary team.

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
25851240
×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"