CONTEXT: Palliative care aims to support patients' spiritual needs with the intention of promoting their spiritual well-being (SWB), an important dimension of quality of life. SWB is one of the less-studied dimensions of QoL, particularly in a secular country such as the Netherlands.
OBJECTIVES: In this study we aimed to get a better understanding of SWB in Dutch patients with advanced cancer. We therefore examined its prominence and associated factors.
METHODS: We used the baseline data of a cohort study on experienced quality of care and quality of life (eQuiPe study), which included 1,103 patients with advanced cancer. In addition to sociodemographic and religious/spiritual characteristics, study measures comprised the SWB subscales Meaning, Peace, and Faith of the revised FACIT-Sp-12, spiritual problems and needs (PNPCsv), quality of life (EORTC-QLQ-C30) and satisfaction with healthcare professionals' interpersonal skills (INPATSAT-32).
RESULTS: On average, patients experienced quite a bit of Meaning (8.9, SD 2.3), a little bit to somewhat Peace (6.8, SD 2.7), and very low levels of Faith (2.9, SD 3.7). Two-thirds (71%) of patients reported one or more spiritual problems, for which the majority (54%) wanted to receive attention. In the final multivariable models, only a few factors were associated with SWB, such as greater spiritual needs with lower levels of Meaning and Peace.
CONCLUSION: Dutch patients with advanced cancer experience medium to low levels of Meaning, Peace, and Faith. More attention for their SWB is warranted.