Value of religious care for relief of psycho-existential suffering in Japanese terminally ill cancer patients: The perspective of bereaved family members

Michiyo Ando, Ryo Kawamura, Tatsuya Morita, Kei Hirai, Mitsunori Miyashita, Takuya Okamoto, Yasuo Shima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to clarify the experience of bereaved family members of cancer patients regarding the usefulness of religious care (perceived usefulness). The value of this care to palliate psycho-existential suffering in future patients was also examined (predicted usefulness). Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 592 bereaved family members of cancer patients who were admitted to certified palliative care units in Japan. Responses were obtained from 378 families, indicating whether the patient received religious care, the perceived usefulness of the care, and its predicted usefulness for palliation of psycho-existential suffering. Results: About 25% (N=83) indicated that the patient had received religious care, whereas 75% (N=255) had not received it. Families of patients who had received religious care evaluated pastoral care workers (86%), religious services (82%), and religious music (80%) as 'very useful' or 'useful'. Families predicted usefulness of religious care for future patients: attending a religious service (very useful or useful, 56%; not useful or harmful, 44%), a religious atmosphere (48%, 52%), meeting with a pastoral care worker (50%, 50%), and religious care by physicians (26%, 74%), and nurses (27%, 73%). Families with a religion were significantly more likely to rate religious care as useful for future patients. Conclusions: Families of patients who received religious care generally evaluated this care to be very useful or useful. For future patients, some families felt that religious care would be useful, but some did not. In Japan, religious care is more likely to provide benefits to patients who have a religion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-755
Number of pages6
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Japanese bereaved family
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Religious care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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