Spirituality and Emotional Distress Among Lung Cancer Survivors

Clin Lung Cancer. 2019 Nov;20(6):e661-e666. doi: 10.1016/j.cllc.2019.06.015. Epub 2019 Jun 19.


Background: Emerging research is highlighting the importance of spirituality in cancer survivorship as well as the importance of early distress screening. The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the relationships among spirituality, emotional distress, and sociodemographic variables during the early period of lung cancer survivorship.

Patients and methods: Eight hundred sixty-four lung cancer survivors completed the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being, and the Short-Form-8 for emotional distress within the first year after lung cancer diagnosis, and 474 of these survivors completed the survey again 1 year later.

Results: At baseline, spirituality was associated with lower prevalence of emotional distress, being married, fewer years of cigarette smoking, and better Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status. Additionally, high baseline spirituality was associated with lower rates of high emotional distress at 1-year follow-up.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that spirituality might serve as a protective factor for emotional distress among lung cancer survivors. Further research is warranted to explore the role of spirituality in promoting distress management among lung cancer survivors.

Keywords: Coping with cancer; Meaning; Psychological; Quality of life.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cancer Survivors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Quality of Life
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires