Spirituality, religion, and depression in the terminally ill Journal Article

Authors: Nelson, C. J.; Rosenfeld, B.; Breitbart, W.; Galietta, M.
Article Title: Spirituality, religion, and depression in the terminally ill
Abstract: Objective: This study examined the impact of spirituality and religiosity on depressive symptom severity in a sample of terminally ill patients with cancer and AIDS. Methods: One hundred sixty-two patients were recruited from palliative-care facilities (hospitals and specialized nursing facilities), all of whom had a life expectancy <6 months. The primary, variables used in this study were the FACIT Spiritual Well-Being Scale, a religiosity index similar to those used in previous research, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), the Karnofsky Performance Rating Scale, the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale, and the Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire. Results: A strong negative association was observed between the FACIT Spiritual Well-Being scale and the HDRS, but no such relationship was found for religiosity, because more religious individuals had somewhat higher scores on the HDRS. Similar patterns were observed for the FACIT sub-scales, finding a strong negative association between the meaning and peace sub-scale (which corresponds to the more existential aspects of spirituality) and HDRS scores, whereas a positive, albeit nonsignificant, association was observed for the faith sub-scale (which corresponds more closely to religiosity). Conclusions: These results suggest that the beneficial aspects of religion may be primarily those that relate to spiritual well-being rather than to religious practices per se. Implications for clinical interventions and palliative-care practice are discussed.
Keywords: social support; health; sample; women; cancer; attendance
Journal Title: Psychosomatics
Volume: 43
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0033-3182
Publisher: Elsevier Science, Inc.  
Date Published: 2002-05-01
Start Page: 213
End Page: 220
Language: English
ACCESSION: WOS:000175689300006
DOI: 10.1176/appi.psy.43.3.213
PUBMED: 12075036
Notes: Article -- Source: Wos
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MSK Authors
  1. William S Breitbart
    344 Breitbart
  2. Christian Nelson
    258 Nelson