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Spiritual concerns in Hindu cancer patients undergoing palliative care: A qualitative study

By Srinagesh Simha, Simon Noble and Santosh K Chaturvedi

Abstract

Aims: Spiritual concerns are being identified as important components of palliative care. The aim of this study was to explore the nature of spiritual concerns in cancer patients undergoing palliative care in a hospice in India. Materials and Methods: The methodology used was a qualitative method: Interpretive phenomenological analysis. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data, based on Indian and western literature reports. Certain aspects like karma and pooja, relevant to Hindus, were included. Theme saturation was achieved on interviewing 10 participants. Results: The seven most common spiritual concerns reported were benefit of pooja, faith in God, concern about the future, concept of rebirth, acceptance of one′s situation, belief in karma, and the question "Why me?" No participant expressed four of the concerns studied: Loneliness, need of seeking forgiveness from others, not being remembered later, and religious struggle. Conclusions: This study confirms that there are spiritual concerns reported by patients receiving palliative care. The qualitative descriptions give a good idea about these experiences, and how patients deal with them. The study indicates the need for adequate attention to spiritual aspects during palliative care

Topics: Attitude, Awareness, Organ donation, Perceptions, South India, Distress, Head and neck cancer, Radiotherapy, Cancer pain, Hypofractionated radiotherapy, Inoperable head and neck cancer, Palliative radiotherapy, Cancer patients, Hindu, Karma, Palliative care, Qualitative study, Spirituality, Spiritual concerns, Medicine (General), R5-920
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.4103/0973-1075.116716
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:45ccb0309b534bbb91f7b7367b847c7d
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