Addressing the religious and spiritual needs of dying patients by healthcare staff in Korea: patient perspectives in a multi-religious Asian country
Article first published online: 21 JAN 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 374–381, April 2012
How to Cite
Kang, J., Shin, D. W., Choi, J. Y., Park, C. H., Baek, Y. J., Mo, H. N., Song, M. O., Park, S. A., Moon, D. H. and Son, K. Y. (2012), Addressing the religious and spiritual needs of dying patients by healthcare staff in Korea: patient perspectives in a multi-religious Asian country. Psycho-Oncology, 21: 374–381. doi: 10.1002/pon.1901
- Issue published online: 13 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 21 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 21 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Received: 21 JUN 2010
- palliative care;
Objective: We investigated how patients' spiritual and religious needs are addressed by healthcare staff in inpatient palliative care centers in Korea, a multi-religious country.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional, multicenter survey of terminal cancer patients in inpatient palliative care centers.
Results: Approximately half (50.5%) of the patients reported that their spiritual and religious needs were addressed by healthcare staff. Patients whose needs were addressed reported better quality of life (QoL), as measured using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire for Palliative Care, than patients whose needs were not addressed (p<0.05), although these groups did not differ when measured using the Comprehensive QoL Scale. Patients with a religious affiliation [adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 2.38; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.70–8.05], those who were admitted to a religious palliative care center (aOR, 2.61; 95% CI, 0.86–7.96), and those whose religious affiliation was the same as that of the palliative care center (aOR, 2.42; 95% CI, 0.96–6.07) tended to have their spiritual and religious needs addressed, although not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Although patients whose spiritual and religious needs were addressed by healthcare staff showed significantly better QoL, such needs were not addressed in a significant proportion of patients, especially those who were not religious or were admitted to non-religious palliative care centers. Strategies should be developed to ensure that spiritual care is provided to all patients with terminal cancer, regardless of the religious background of the patient. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.