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Racial/ethnic differences in spiritual well-being among cancer survivors

Racial/ethnic differences in spiritual well-being among cancer survivors

This study examined racial/ethnic differences in spiritual well-being (SWB) among survivors of cancer. We hypothesized higher levels of Peace and Faith, but not Meaning, among Black and Hispanic survivors compared to White survivors, differences that would be reduced but remain significant after controlling for sociodemographic and medical factors. Hypotheses were tested with data from the American Cancer Society’s Study of Cancer Survivors-II. The FACIT-Sp subscale scores, Meaning, Peace, and Faith assessed SWB, and the SF-36 Physical Component Summary measured functional status. In general, bivariate models supported our initial hypotheses. After adjustment for sociodemographic and medical factors, however, Blacks had higher scores on both Meaning and Peace compared to Hispanics and Whites, and Hispanics’ scores on Peace were higher than Whites’ scores. In contrast, sociodemographic and medical factors had weak associations with Faith scores. The pattern with Faith in bivariate models persisted in the fully adjusted models. Racial/ethnic differencesin Meaning and in Peace, important dimensions of SWB, were even stronger after controlling for sociodemographic and medical factors. However, racial/ethnic differences in Faith appeared to remain stable. Further research is needed to determine if racial/ethnic differencesin SWB are related to variations in quality of life in survivors of cancer.

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