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J Holist Nurs. 2005 Jun;23(2):120-40; discussion 141-4.

Spiritual struggle: effect on quality of life and life satisfaction in women with breast cancer.

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  • 1Bronson School of Nursing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.



Women with breast cancer experience stressors affecting quality of life (QOL) and life satisfaction. Little is known about effects of spiritual struggle as a coping strategy on QOL and life satisfaction.


Examine relationships between spiritual struggle, QOL, and life satisfaction.


Nonprobablility sample of 100 participants recruited from an Internet Web site with mailed questionnaires. Three instruments were used: breast cancer-specific version of Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale (FACT-B), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual (FACIT-Sp-12) combined for QOL, Negative Coping subscale of Religious Coping (RCOPE) for spiritual struggle, and a single-item measuring life satisfaction.


Small inverse relationships between spiritual struggle, QOL (r = -.36, p < .001), and life satisfaction (r = -.31, p < .001) existed.


Spiritual struggle gives voice to women's questionings implying lower QOL and life satisfaction.


Assessment of and assistance with managing spiritual struggle are necessary to promote QOL and life satisfaction among those facing difficult health problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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