Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99--105

Spiritual concerns in Hindu cancer patients undergoing palliative care: A qualitative study


1 Medical Director, Karunashraya Hospice, Bangalore, India
2 Consultant in Palliative Care, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, United Kingdom
3 Professor of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Srinagesh Simha
Medical Director, Karunashraya Hospice, Bangalore
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.116716

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Aims: Spiritual concerns are being identified as important components of palliative care. The aim of this study was to explore the nature of spiritual concerns in cancer patients undergoing palliative care in a hospice in India. Materials and Methods: The methodology used was a qualitative method: Interpretive phenomenological analysis. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data, based on Indian and western literature reports. Certain aspects like karma and pooja, relevant to Hindus, were included. Theme saturation was achieved on interviewing 10 participants. Results: The seven most common spiritual concerns reported were benefit of pooja, faith in God, concern about the future, concept of rebirth, acceptance of one's situation, belief in karma, and the question "Why me?" No participant expressed four of the concerns studied: Loneliness, need of seeking forgiveness from others, not being remembered later, and religious struggle. Conclusions: This study confirms that there are spiritual concerns reported by patients receiving palliative care. The qualitative descriptions give a good idea about these experiences, and how patients deal with them. The study indicates the need for adequate attention to spiritual aspects during palliative care.






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