Evaluating the impact of spirituality on the quality of life, anxiety, and depression among patients with cancer: an observational transversal study

Emile Abou Chaar, Souheil Hallit, Aline Hajj, Racha Aaraj, Joseph Kattan, Hicham Jabbour, Lydia Rabbaa Khabbaz
Supportive Care in Cancer 2018, 26 (8): 2581-2590

OBJECTIVE: Spiritual well-being was found to have some protective effect against end-of life despair in cancer patients. We aimed at assessing the impact of spirituality on the quality of life, depression, and anxiety of Lebanese cancer patients.

METHODS: Our observational transversal monocentric study was conducted between January and April 2016 among a convenient sample of 115 Lebanese cancer patients admitted to Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital (HDF), Beirut-Lebanon. In addition to socio-demographic and clinical data, three questionnaires were used: EORTC QLQ-C30 (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, 3rd version), FACIT-Sp-12 (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being; The 12-item Spiritual Well-Being Scale, 4th version), and HADS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Eighteen patients taking anxiolytic and/or antidepressants were not included in the analysis. The remaining 97 patients were analyzed.

RESULTS: Better emotional and cognitive functioning was seen in patients with higher meaning, peace, faith, and total FACIT scores. Meaning, peace, and total FACIT scores were also higher among patients with better global health status and quality of life. Anxiety as well as depression was significantly associated to all spiritual well-being factors.

CONCLUSION: Spirituality can improve quality of life and decrease the incidence of anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Our results highlight the need to incorporate spiritual care in healthcare systems.

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