Spirituality and Quality of Life in Low-Income Men with Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Published In: Psycho-Oncology, v. 18, no. 7, July 2009, p. 753-761

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Mary Wassel Zavala, Sally L. Maliski, Lorna Kwan, Arlene Fink, Mark Litwin

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OBJECTIVE: To determine how spirituality is associated with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in an ethnically diverse cohort of low-income men with metastatic prostate cancer. METHODS: Eighty-six participants in a state-funded program that provides free prostate cancer treatment to uninsured, low-income men completed written surveys and telephone interviews containing validated measures of spirituality, and general and disease-specific HRQOL. Assessments were made following diagnosis of metastatic disease. The authors used multivariate analyses to assess the effect of spirituality and its two subscales, faith and meaning/peace, on HRQOL. RESULTS: African American and Latino men, and men with less than a high-school education had the highest spirituality scores. Spirituality was significantly associated with general and disease-specific HRQOL. They also found a significant interaction between faith and meaning/peace in the physical and pain domains. CONCLUSION: Greater spirituality was associated with better HRQOL and psychosocial function. Meaning/peace closely tracks with HRQOL. Higher faith scores, in the absence of high meaning/peace scores, are negatively associated with HRQOL.

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