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interdisciplinary team, spiritual correlates, spiritual needs



  1. Scott, Linda Olson MDiv
  2. Law, Johnathon M. MDiv, MBA
  3. Brodeur, Daniel P. MDiv
  4. Salerno, Christopher A. MDiv
  5. Thomas, Anzette MDiv
  6. McMillan, Susan C. PhD, ARNP, FAAN


The study purpose was to explore relationship with God, symptom distress, and feelings of anger and loneliness in hospice patients with cancer. Three hundred fifty-four hospice patients completed the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale and Hospice Quality of Life Index. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlations. Scores on satisfaction with relationship with God were very high (mean, 9.2 on a 0- to 10-point scale). We found weak, significant relationships between relationship with God and anger (r = 0.28; P = .000), loneliness (r = 0.25; P = .000), and symptom distress (r = 0.23, P = .000). If patients felt that they did not have a good relationship with God, they were more likely to feel anger. Patients who had a better relationship with God felt less lonely, which might suggest that religion was more than a set of beliefs but was a source of comfort, care, and support. Patients who perceived a satisfactory relationship with God reported less symptom distress. Patients appeared to be able to maintain their relationships with God. However, they still had other problems such as anger, loneliness, and symptom distress that are associated with their God relationship and that deserve attention. Thus, the interdisciplinary team, which includes chaplains, is critical and should remain the standard.