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Cancer. 2015 Nov 1;121(21):3754-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29349. Epub 2015 Aug 10.

Religion, spirituality, and health outcomes in cancer: A case for a meta-analytic investigation.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
2
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
3
Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.
4
Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
5
Behavioral Medicine, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas.
6
Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Abstract

A growing body of research shows that a majority of patients with cancer report having religious and spiritual (R/S) beliefs, engaging in R/S behaviors, or deriving comfort from R/S experiences. These studies have been reviewed but not subjected to rigorous critical analysis. A meta-analytic approach is needed to provide a more definitive understanding of the relationships between R/S (affective, behavioral, and cognitive dimensions) and physical, mental, and social health in all phases of cancer including diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and palliative care. A meta-analysis can quantify the degree of association between R/S dimensions and patient-reported health outcomes and the conditions under which these associations are strengthened or attenuated. Results can, in turn, help focus future work in this area by highlighting key variables for inclusion in studies of R/S and cancer and identifying particular subgroups for whom dimensions of R/S are particularly important to their health.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Meta-analysis; Quality of Life; Religion; Spirituality

PMID:
26258400
PMCID:
PMC4618242
DOI:
10.1002/cncr.29349
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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