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Religions 2016, 7(3), 22; doi:10.3390/rel7030022

A Qualitative Content Analysis of Spirituality and Religiosity amongst Greek COPD Patients

1
Primary National Health Network, Health Unit Volos, Volos 38445, Greece
2
Respiratory Department, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Volos 38333, Greece
3
Respiratory Department, Medical School, University Hospital of Larissa 41222, Greece
4
Department of Physiology, Medical School, University Hospital of Larissa 41222, Greece
5
Department of Nursing, Technological Educational Institute of Larissa, Larissa 41222, Greece
6
Respiratory Department, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Larissa 41222 Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing
Received: 1 November 2015 / Revised: 8 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
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Abstract

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic and common disease throughout the world. Spiritual/religious beliefs are often central to patients with serious illnesses and could serve as a resource for coping with such illnesses. A qualitative methodology was chosen in order to gain a thorough understanding of 75 (male n = 69, 92%, female n = 6, 8%) Greek COPD patients’ perceptions of spirituality and religiosity and explore the importance of practicing their beliefs while 25 patients refused to participate in the study. The fewer female participant patients in the study are related to the lower percentage of women suffering from COPD in Greece, which can be further linked to the low smoking habit of women. A total of four patients (5.3%) stated that they had no religious or spiritual understanding of their life; 41 (54.7%) reported a religious belief; eight (10.7%) told of a spiritual belief; and 22 (29.3%) of the participants reported both a religious and a spiritual belief. Faith in the will of God seems to be a particularly strong feature of patients’ beliefs. Praying and church attendance were more likely to confirm the importance of practicing their beliefs in their daily lives but COPD seems to prevent patients from regular churchgoing. Religion and spirituality were found to be helpful while patients did not seem to have unrealistic expectations from God when dealing with illness. When asked, participants defined spirituality as “happiness”, “love”, “our God”, “the spirit”, and as an act of altruism. Adopting a more holistic perspective for COPD patients in the clinical setting, spirituality and religiosity can offer suggestions for interventions related to their health issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: Greek COPD patients; spirituality; religiosity; quantitative research Greek COPD patients; spirituality; religiosity; quantitative research
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tzounis, E.; Kerenidi, T.; Daniil, Z.; Hatzoglou, C.; Kotrotsiou, E.; Gourgoulianis, K. A Qualitative Content Analysis of Spirituality and Religiosity amongst Greek COPD Patients. Religions 2016, 7, 22.

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