Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes

The use of spirituality and religiosity in coping with colorectal cancer

BACKGROUND: Spirituality and religiosity are reported as important in coping with cancer but rarely explored across cultures. OBJECTIVES: To explore and compare the use of spirituality and religiosity in coping with colorectal cancer in New Zealand and Iran. METHODS: A cross-sectional qualitative approach involving interviews conducted in New Zealand (n = 20) and Iran (n = 20). The data were analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: The majority of participants interviewed used religion as a resource in coping with cancer. A minority described spirituality as separate to religion and drew on spirituality either in relation to religion or alone. All Iranian participants viewed spirituality as intertwined with religion. CONCLUSION: Religious and/or spiritual beliefs formed an important source of support for all Iranians and the majority of New Zealand participants living with cancer. The ability of nurses to identify, recognise, and support these beliefs is important in the provision of holistic care.