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Transcending the Suffering in Cancer: Impact of a Spiritual Life Review Intervention on Spiritual Re-Evaluation, Spiritual Growth and Psycho-Spiritual Wellbeing

1
Department of Spiritual Care, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, 1118, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, 1118, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, 1118, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
4
Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Department of Clinical, Neuro- & Developmental Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1117, 1118, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030142
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 15 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spiritual Care for People with Cancer)
In the confrontation with cancer, spiritual re-evaluation may help people to transform all-encompassing suffering into spiritual growth and psycho-spiritual wellbeing. The aim of this study was to examine whether spiritual life review (SLR), a semi-structured group narrative intervention that supports people with cancer to write and present their spiritual life story, is effective for the improvement of spiritual re-evaluation, spiritual growth, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing. In this mixed methods study, 57 cancer patients participated. Quantitative data were collected by means of patient reported outcomes (SAIL, Dutch Ryff, and NEIS) at baseline, post-intervention, and three and nine months follow-up (44 participants completed up to 9 months post-intervention). Changes over time were assessed via linear mixed model analysis (LMM). Qualitative data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 33 participants nine months post-intervention, and were coded in a two-stage process. Participating in SLR facilitated spiritual re-evaluation, and improved the course of spiritual growth, psycho-spiritual wellbeing, and ego-integrity. This study provides evidence that SLR is likely to improve spiritual re-evaluation, spiritual growth, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing after confrontation with cancer; it also suggests the importance of self-affirmation and ego-integrity for spirituality; and underscores the relevance of narrative spiritual interventions in the oncology setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; spiritual re-evaluation; existential re-evaluation; narrative interventions; spiritual autobiography; spiritual life story; spiritual growth; spiritual wellbeing; ego-integrity cancer; spiritual re-evaluation; existential re-evaluation; narrative interventions; spiritual autobiography; spiritual life story; spiritual growth; spiritual wellbeing; ego-integrity
MDPI and ACS Style

Post, L.; Ganzevoort, R.R.; Verdonck-de Leeuw, I.M. Transcending the Suffering in Cancer: Impact of a Spiritual Life Review Intervention on Spiritual Re-Evaluation, Spiritual Growth and Psycho-Spiritual Wellbeing. Religions 2020, 11, 142.

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