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Spiritual Experiences of Patients in the Cancer Trajectory: A Content Analysis

Mahboobeh Khosravani
Nazi Nejat


BACKGROUND: Introduction: Patients with cancer as a life-threatening illness have needs in various dimensions. One of the most crucial dimension is spiritually. The present study was conducted to elucidate the spiritual needs of  patients with cancer.

METHODS: A qualitative approach involving face to face semi-structured interviews conducted in Arak city, Iran. In total, 24 participants were recruited through purposive sampling. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed using content analysis.

RESULTS: Patients' experiences of spirituality were classified into four themes, including spiritual needs (need to be in nature, need to communicate with others, need to perform religious practices, need for solitude and reflections, need to trust and security), strategies to address spiritual needs (physical activity, achieving inner peace, communication with the nurse or physician, doing dhikr (Zikr) and pray, reading the religious book and texts, making vows, paying attention to and loving others), reasons for not using spiritual resources (lack of belief in the healing powers of praying, believing in a better life after death), and impacts of spiritual beliefs (hope of Life, belief in divine destiny, trusting in God’s support, accepting the divine test).

CONCLUSION: Exploring the experiences, perceptions, and spiritual needs of cancer patients is of great importance in providing spiritual care as one of the critical aspects of holistic care. Nurses should be educated for assessing spiritual needs of patients to provide spiritual care.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2413-7170
print ISSN: 1029-1857