Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Spiritual quality of life and spiritual coping: evidence for a two-factor structure of the WHOQOL spirituality, religiousness, and personal beliefs module

Background: The WHOQOL-SRPB has been a useful module to measure aspects of QOL related to spirituality, religiousness, and personal beliefs, but recent research has pointed to potential problems with its proposed factor structure. Three of the eight facets of the WHOQOL-SRPB have been identified as potentially different from the others, and to date only a limited number of factor analyses of the instrument have been published. Methods: Analyses were conducted using data from a sample of 679 university students who had completed the WHOQOL-BREF quality of life questionnaire, the WHOQOL-SRPB module, the Perceived Stress scale, and the Brief COPE coping strategies questionnaire. Informed by these analyses, confirmatory factor analyses suitable for ordinal-level data explored the potential for a two-factor solution as opposed to the originally proposed one-factor solution. Results: The facets WHOQOL-SRPB facets connected, strength, and faith were highly correlated with each other as well as with the religious coping sub-scale of the Brief COPE. Combining these three facets to one factor in a two-factor solution for the WHOQOL-SRPB yielded superior goodness-of-fit indices compared to the original one-factor solution. Conclusions: A two-factor solution for the WHOQOL-SRPB is more tenable, in which three of the eight WHOQOL-SRPB facets group together as a spiritual coping factor and the remaining facets form a factor of spiritual quality of life. While discarding the facets connectedness, strength, and faith without additional research would be premature, users of the scale need to be aware of this alternative two-factor structure, and may wish to analyze scores using this structure.