Factors associated with post-traumatic growth, quality of life, and spiritual well-being in outpatients undergoing bone marrow transplantation: a pilot study
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationships between spiritual, religious, and sociodemographic factors and post-traumatic growth, quality of life, and spiritual well-being in outpatients undergoing bone marrow and/or stem cell transplantation (BMSCT). DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive, exploratory. SETTING: Outpatient bone marrow transplantation clinic at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. SAMPLE: 100 patients (21 pre-BMSCT and 79 post-BMSCT) accrued consecutively via non-probability sampling. METHODS: Study participants completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplantation (FACT-BMT), the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp), and a demographic questionnaire. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, t tests, and correlational analyses. MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Demographic variables, FACT-BMT scores, PTGI scores, FACIT-Sp scores. FINDINGS: The majority of participants identified themselves as being at least somewhat spiritual. Significant differences were noted between those who identified as being not religious at all versus having at least some religiosity in several subscales of the PTGI, as well as on the FACIT-Sp. Similarly, significant differences were observed between participants who identified as being not spiritual at all versus having at least some spirituality for several subscales on the PTGI. Most participants indicated they would be at least somewhat likely to recommend spiritual care to a new patient. CONCLUSIONS: Most patients in this study within a publicly funded healthcare system self-identified with spirituality, used spiritual resources, and would recommend that other patients undergoing BMSCT seek the support of a spiritual care professional or chaplain. Spirituality, along with practical and relational factors, had a positive impact on certain aspects of post-traumatic growth, quality of life, and spiritual and physical well-being. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Oncology nurses are encouraged to routinely address spiritual issues. Findings from this study suggest that spirituality is not only important to patients undergoing BMSCT, but also may be an integral component of patients’ post-traumatic growth, quality of life, and spiritual well-being.