The EORTC Quality of Life Group has just completed the final phase (field-testing and validation) of an international project to develop a stand-alone measure of spiritual well-being (SWB) for palliative cancer patients. Participants (n = 451)—from 14 countries on four continents; 54% female; 188 Christian; 50 Muslim; 156 with no religion—completed a provisional 36-item measure of SWB plus the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL (PAL), then took part in a structured debriefing interview. All items showed good score distribution across response categories. We assessed scale structure using principal component analysis and Rasch analysis, and explored construct validity, and convergent/divergent validity with the PAL. Twenty-two items in four scoring scales (Relationship with Self, Relationships with Others, Relationship with Someone or Something Greater, and Existential) explained 53% of the variance. The measure also includes a global SWB item and nine other items. Scores on the PAL global quality-of-life item and Emotional Functioning scale weakly-moderately correlated with scores on the global SWB item and two of the four SWB scales. This new validated 32-item SWB measure addresses a distinct aspect of quality-of-life, and is now available for use in research and clinical practice, with a role as both a measurement and an intervention tool.
- palliative care
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