Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Religious Influences of Individuals with Cancer in Remission

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Journal Title

Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research

Volume

3

Issue

1

First Page

13

Last Page

27

Abstract

Utilizing qualitative methodologies, we interviewed 25 cancer patients whose disease currently was in remission. We gave attention to the impact of personal faith (particularly Christian beliefs) on coping methods. Results showed percepts of God altering views toward their cancer in the following ways: a release of control, ushering in a sense of peace, and serving as a foundation in which to trust. In addition, the cancer experience enabled participants to gain hope in an eternal perspective and served as a faith-strengthening catalyst. These Christians, who were cancer patients in remission, also emphasized the sizable impact of others in their cancer journey. Of note, others served as a source of pouring-in, and family members, friends, and church contacts provided physical, emotional, and spiritual support through all phases of the cancer process. These social networks also served as a source of pouring-out. After receiving support, participants wished to reciprocate in the lives of loved ones and in the lives of others with cancer. Implications for health-care providers, family members, and researchers also are discussed.

Keywords

Cancer, patientsm, remission, religiousness, Christian life, religious behaviors

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