Psychosocial needs in cancer patients related to religious belief

Palliat Med. 2003 Jan;17(1):49-54. doi: 10.1191/0269216303pm660oa.


In a study of psychosocial needs amongst cancer patients, the possession of a religious faith has been identified as a significant factor in determining a range of psychosocial needs. Of the 354 respondents to a questionnaire, which included a comprehensive psychosocial needs inventory, 83% said they had a religious faith, and in general these patients were less reliant on health professionals, had less need for information, attached less importance to the maintenance of independence and had less need for help with feelings of guilt, with their sexuality or with some practical matters than those who said they had no religious faith. In addition, they had fewer unmet needs overall (32% compared with 52%). The knowledge of a patient's spirituality should help service providers to predict aspects of psychosocial need and to respond sensitively and appropriately to a patient's experience of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychology, Social
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Spirituality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires