Cancer News
OncoLink Cancer News - HealthDay


Spiritual Care Often Benefits Terminally Ill Cancer Patients

-- Rick Ansorge

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In terminally ill cancer patients, adequate spiritual support is associated with an increased usage of hospice care and an improved quality of life, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Tracy Anne Balboni, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues interviewed 343 patients, including 168 who were identified as high religious coping, at baseline and observed them for a median of 116 days until death.

The researchers found that substantial or complete support of spiritual needs by the medical team was associated with a greater likelihood of receiving hospice care than non-support (odds ratio, 3.53), especially among high religious coping patients (odds ratio, 4.93). They also found that spiritual support was associated with a lower likelihood of aggressive treatment in high religious coping patients (odds ratio, 0.18), and that all patients who received spiritual support from the medical team and pastoral care visits had higher quality of life scores.

"These findings underscore the need to educate medical caregivers in their appropriate roles in providing patient-centered spiritual care and the importance of integrating pastoral care into multidisciplinary medical teams," the authors write.

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.


I Wish You Knew

Cancer Research & Genetics

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More