Spiritual well-being and associated factors in Dutch patients with advanced cancer

Annelieke Damen, N.J. Raijmakers, Janneke Van Roij, Anja Visser, Marieke Van den Beuken-Everdingen, Evelien Kuip, Hanneke W. M. Van Laarhoven, Lobke Van Leeuwen-Snoeks, Annemieke Van der Padt-Pruijsten, Tineke Smilde, Carlo J. W. Leget, George Fitchett

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Context: Palliative care aims to support patients’ spiritual needs with the intention of promoting their spiritual well-being (SWB), an important dimension of quality of life. SWB is one of the less-studied dimensions of QoL, particularly in a secular country such as the Netherlands. Objectives: In this study we aimed to get a better understanding of SWB in Dutch patients with advanced cancer. We therefore examined its prominence and associated factors. Methods: We used the baseline data of a cohort study on experienced quality of care and quality of life (eQuiPe study), which included 1,103 patients with advanced cancer. In addition to sociodemographic and religious/spiritual characteristics, study measures comprised the SWB subscales Meaning, Peace, and Faith of the revised FACIT-Sp-12, spiritual problems and needs (PNPCsv), quality of life (EORTC-QLQ-C30) and satisfaction with healthcare professionals’ interpersonal skills (INPATSAT-32). Results: On average, patients experienced quite a bit of Meaning (8.9, SD 2.3), a little bit to somewhat Peace (6.8, SD 2.7), and very low levels of Faith (2.9, SD 3.7). Two-thirds (71%) of patients reported one or more spiritual problems, for which the majority (54%) wanted to receive attention. In the final multivariable models, only a few factors were associated with SWB, such as greater spiritual needs with lower levels of Meaning and Peace. Conclusion: Dutch patients with advanced cancer experience medium to low levels of Meaning, Peace, and Faith. More attention for their SWB is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Spiritual well-being
  • cancer
  • palliative care
  • quality of life
  • religion
  • spirituality

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