Spiritual Care Needs of Terminal Ill Cancer Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Nursing, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

2 Faculty of Nursing, Suratthani Rajabhat University, Suratthani, Thailand.

3 Chulalongkorn Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


Objective: Terminal ill cancer patients experience spiritual distress and need spiritual care. They are in need of palliative care in the long term to alleviate suffering. The aim of the study was to investigate spiritual needs of terminal ill cancer patients. Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study. The participants were Thai terminal ill cancer patients from seven hospitals in northern, northeast, central, and southern regions of Thailand. Three-hundred-and-twenty-two participants were purposively selected. The instrument used in this study was a spiritual needs scale, consisting of 41 items with 4-point rating scale. Statistical analysis was F-test for one-way analysis of variance. Results: The majority of terminal ill cancer patients aged fifty-one years old. Most of them were females with end stage cancer status that did not respond to treatment. The overall spiritual needs of terminal ill cancer patients were at the moderate level (M = 18.21, SD = 2.56). The highest mean was found in the ‘prepare for death’ dimension, followed by the ‘have meaning, values, and life purposes’ and the ‘have opportunity to pursue most important things in life’ dimensions respectively and had different spiritual needs among status (F(3,318) = 3.66, p < 0.05), number of family members (F(8,313) = 5.07,  p < 0.05), living with family (F(2,319) = 3.91, p < 0.05), and spiritual anchor (F(2,319) = 4.13, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The study results provide insight into spiritual needs of terminal ill cancer patients which assists in improving the provision of holistic care to let the patients be happy at end-of-life phase.


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