Religion and spirituality among patients with localized prostate cancer

Palliat Support Care. 2006 Dec;4(4):345-55. doi: 10.1017/s1478951506060457.


Objective: To examine: (1) daily religious and spiritual experiences among localized prostate cancer patients as compared to a national age and race-matched male sample; (2) cognitive-affective and clinical predictors of prostate cancer diagnosis-related increases in religiosity and spirituality; (3) short-term impact of daily religious and spiritual experiences on cancer recurrence worry.

Methods: Analyses of data from a longitudinal questionnaire study among patients (N = 254) diagnosed with localized prostate cancer and data from a random sample (N = 238) of respondents to the national General Social Survey.

Results: Compared to the national sample, prostate cancer patients reported higher levels of daily spiritual experiences. Patients with higher worry about prostate cancer and elevated levels of prostate-related symptoms around diagnosis were more likely to report a diagnosis-related increase in religiosity and spirituality. Positive benefits (reduced recurrence worry) of religious coping/practices were restricted to those patients with higher versus lower level of postdiagnosis increase in religiosity; patients not reporting postdiagnosis increases in religion who are not engaging in religious coping/practice adjusted equally well. Results suggest that the development of religious/spiritual interventions is premature.

Significance of results: This is the first prospective study to report on the prevalence and influence of daily spiritual and religious experiences among prostate cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Catholicism
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Education
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Judaism
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Protestantism
  • Quality of Life*
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors