Purpose/objectives: To determine the relationships among spiritual well-being, religiosity, hope, depression, and other mood states in elderly people coping with cancer and if differences in hope, depression, and other mood states exist between those elderly with high and low intrinsic religiosity and spiritual well-being.
Design: Descriptive correlational and descriptive comparison.
Setting: Acute care units of two hospitals located in the midwestern United States.
Sample: 100 elderly people with diagnosis of cancer and a mean age of 73 years. Thirty-three of the subjects were male, and 67 were female. Sixty-two percent had either lung, breast, or colon cancer.
Methods: Each subject was administered an intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity index, a spiritual well-being scale, a geriatric depression scale, the Miller hope scale, and the Profile of Mood States scale.
Main research variables: Spiritual well-being, religiosity, hope, depression, and mood.
Findings: A consistent positive correlation was found among intrinsic religiosity, spiritual well-being, hope, and other positive mood states. A consistent negative correlation among intrinsic religiosity, depression, and other negative mood states existed. Analysis of variance indicated that significantly higher levels of hope and positive moods existed in elderly patients with high levels of intrinsic religiosity and spiritual well-being.
Conclusion: Intrinsic religiosity and spiritual well-being are associated with hope and positive mood states in elderly people coping with cancer.
Implications for nursing practice: Nurses must assess and support intrinsic religiosity and promote spiritual well-being in elderly people coping with cancer.