Department of Nursing, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Background: This study investigated the influence of religious beliefs on the health of cancer patients and identified the factors contributing to the influence. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted using a convenient sampling method. A structured questionnaire was used to the samplings, and the data of 200 cancer patients were collected. Results: The effects of religion on the health of cancer patients achieved an average score of 3.58. The top five effects are presented as follows: (a) Religion provides me with mental support and strength, (b) religion enables me to gain confidence in health recovery, (c) religion motivates me to cope with disease-related stress positively and optimistically, (d) religion helps me reduce anxiety, and (e) religion gives me courage to face uncertainties regarding disease progression. Moreover, among the demographic variables, gender, type of religion, and experience of religious miracles contributed to the significantly different effects of religion on patients. Specifically, the effect of religion on the health of patients who were female and Christian and had miracle experiences was significantly (< .01) higher than that on other patients. Conclusions: These results are helpful in understanding the influence of religious beliefs on the health of cancer patients and identified the factors contributing to the influence. The result can serve as a reference for nursing education and clinical nursing practice.