Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2020 Jun;23(2):55-70. 10.14475/kjhpc.2020.23.2.55.

Comparison of the Spiritual Needs of Terminal Cancer Patients and Their Primary Family Caregivers

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Palliative care nurse, Hospice Unit, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study was conducted to examine differences in Spiritual Interests Related to Illness Tool (SpIRIT) scores and the degree of spiritual needs (SNs) between patients with terminal cancer and their primary family caregivers and to compare spiritual needs between them.
Methods
The study participants were inpatients with terminal cancer and their primary family caregivers at 40 national hospice centers. The final analysis included 120 SpIRIT surveys from patients and 115 from family members, and 99 SNs questionnaires from patients and 111 from family members. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics, the t-test, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation coefficients.
Results
There were no significant between-group differences in SpIRIT scores or SNs. The SpIRIT sub-dimensions that ranked high for both patients and primary family caregivers were “maintaining positive perspective”, “loving others”, and “finding meaning”. The SNs sub-dimensions were ranked identically in both groups, in the order of “love and connection”, “hope and peace”, “meaning and purpose”, respectively. In both groups, the recognition of the importance of spiritual matters and religion were major factors influencing SpIRIT scores and SNs.
Conclusion
The SpIRIT scores and degree of SNs of patients with terminal cancer and their primary family caregivers were found to be very closely related, and the needs for coherence and meaning were greater than religious needs. When providing spiritual care for patients with terminal illness, family members should also be considered, and their prioritization of spiritual needs and the importance of spiritual matters and religion shall be taken into account.

Keyword

Terminal care; Patient; Family; Spirituality; Needs assessment
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