Spiritual quality of life in advanced cancer patients receiving radiation therapy

Katherine M. Piderman, Mary E. Johnson, Marlene H. Frost, Pamela J. Atherton, Daniel V. Satele, Matthew M. Clark, Maria I. Lapid, Jeff A. Sloan, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this randomized controlled trial for patients with advanced cancer receiving radiation therapy was to determine the effect of a multidisciplinary intervention on spiritual quality of life (QOL) at the end of the intervention (week 4) and at two follow-up time points (weeks 26 and 52). Methods One hundred thirty-one persons were randomized to either the intervention or control (forms only) groups. The intervention included six 90-min in-person sessions based on the physical, emotion, social, and spiritual domains of QOL. Three sessions included the spiritual component. Caregivers were present for four sessions, one which included a spiritual component. Ten follow-up phone calls were made to the patients in the intervention group during the 6-month follow-up period. Patients completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy: General Scale, the Linear Analog Self-Assessment which includes an assessment of spiritual QOL, and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) at enrollment, and weeks 4, 27, and 52. Results Following the intervention, the intervention group demonstrated improved spiritual QOL on the FACIT-Sp, whereas the spiritual QOL of the control group decreased, resulting in significant mean changes between groups (total score: 1.7 vs. -2.9; p < 0.01; meaning/peace subscale: 1.0 vs. -3.5; p < 0.01; faith subscale: 3.1 vs. -1.7; p = 0.04). Conclusions The results indicate that a multidisciplinary intervention which includes a spiritual component can maintain the spiritual QOL of patients with advanced cancer during radiation therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • advanced cancer
  • oncology
  • quality of life
  • randomized controlled trial
  • spiritual well-being
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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