Predictors of existential and religious well-being among cancer patients

Eva Mazzotti, Federica Mazzuca, Claudia Sebastiani, Alessandro Scoppola, Paolo Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Well-being and mental health are not only direct functions of amount of stress, but also depend on how people appraise and face critical situations. Spiritual well-being seems to be a central component of psychological health in physically healthy individuals and it offers some protection against end-of-life despair in those with chronic diseases. In this study, 250 out and in-patients with a cancer diagnosis were interviewed with standardised instruments to measure two aspects of spirituality, existential and religious well-being, coping strategies, psychological state, and quality of life (QoL). Using multivariate logistic regression models we found that coping strategies characterized by acceptance and positive reinterpretation of the stressor, and the absence of anxiety disorder, independently increased the likelihood of the existential well-being (Odds Ratio, OR, 7.7, and OR, 4.5, respectively), whereas religious well-being was not significantly associated with these variables. Our findings show that existential and religious well-being may be very different. A spirituality-based intervention could be differently utilized by patients with different beliefs, cognitive and behaviour characteristics. Measure of coping strategies and psychological state should be part of routine management of cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1937
Number of pages7
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Coping strategies
  • Existential wellbeing
  • Quality of life
  • Religious wellbeing
  • Spiritual wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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