“THE INFLUENCE OF PSYCHOSOCIAL VARIABLES ON THE USE OF RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL COPING AND QUALITY OF LIFE AMONG DANISH CANCER PATIENTS” Pedersen, H.F., Pedersen, C.G., Zachariae, R. Psychooncology Research Unit, Aarhus University Hospital and University of Aarhus, Denmark Aim: Use of religious/spiritual resources in coping may be prevalent in patients with cancer considering the life-threatening nature of the illness. Religious/spiritual coping has been found to have both positive and negative effects on quality of life and illness adjustment among cancer patients, with adaptive religious coping styles such as seeking social or spiritual support resulting in more favourable outcomes than more maladaptive religious coping such as seeing cancer as Gods punishment. However, little is known about the psychosocial factors associated with the use of religious/spiritual coping style. Purpose: The aim of this study is to explore: 1) the use of religious/spiritual coping among Danish cancer patients compared to a healthy population, 2) changes in the use of religious/spiritual coping over time, 3) the psychosocial factors associated with the use of religious/spiritual coping, and 4) influence of religious/spiritual coping on quality of life Design/Method: A prospective study of 1.500 newly diagnosed Danish lung cancer patients, will be compared to a healthy, age and gender matched control group with respect to their use of religious/spiritual coping, quality of life, and relevant psychosocial variables. Lung cancer patients complete baseline questionnaire shortly after diagnosis and follow-up questionnaires at 6 and 12 months after diagnosis. Perspectives: Knowledge about the use of positive and negative religious coping over time among a life-threatened group in a secular society will help health care professionals to be more attentive and responsive to the religious and spiritual needs of the patients. Furthermore, the results could identify possible psychosocial factors that may predict the use of positive and negative religious/spiritual coping, which will help healthcare professionals to identify patients at risk of using a negative religious/spiritual coping style resulting in poorer quality of life and illness adjustment.
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The European Conference on Religion, Spirituality and Health 2008