Navigation Links
Link between religious coping and aggressive treatment in terminally ill cancer patients
Date:3/17/2009

BOSTON In a new study of terminally ill cancer patients, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that those who draw on religion to cope with their illness are more likely to receive intensive, life-prolonging medical care as death approaches treatment that often entails a lower quality of life in patients' final days.

Previous research has shown that more religious patients often prefer aggressive end-of-life (EOL) treatment. The new study to be published in the March 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association examined whether these patients actually receive such care. The study's findings suggest that physicians tend to comply with religious patients' wishes for more aggressive care.

"Recent research has shown that religion and spirituality are major sources of comfort and support for patients confronting advanced disease," says the study's senior author, Holly Prigerson, PhD, of Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). "We focused specifically on positive religious coping, on people who rely on their faith to handle the stresses of serious illness and approaching death. Our findings indicate that patients who turn to religion to cope in times of crisis, such as when facing death, are more likely to receive aggressive care when they die."

The study involved 345 advanced cancer patients at seven hospital and cancer centers around the country. Participants were interviewed about their means of coping with the illness, their use of advance care planning tools such as living wills and durable power of attorney, and their preferences regarding end-of-life treatment. Investigators then tracked each patient's course of care during the remainder of his or her life.

An analysis of the data showed that patients identified as positive religious copers had nearly three times the odds of receiving life-prolonging care, in the form of being on a ventilator or receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, in the final week of life. Even after researchers accounted for the influence of important factors such as age, ethnicity, or other coping techniques, the connection between religious coping and aggressive EOL care held up.

The researchers also found that religious copers in the study were less likely to have completed advance medical directives, such as a living will or do-not-resuscitate order, which can limit the extent of such interventions in advance. The effects of religious coping on the use of intensive medical care in the last week of life remained significant even after adjusting for differences in advance care planning.

In interpreting the results, study lead author Andrea Phelps, MD, of Dana-Farber and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, says that "beyond the significance of religious faith in coping with the emotional challenge of incurable cancer, it is important to recognize how religious coping factors into extremely difficult decisions confronting patients as their cancer progresses and death appears imminent. Beyond turning to doctors for advice, patients often look to God for guidance in these times of crisis."

The study did not explore why religious copers often tend to prefer and receive extensive end-of-life care, the authors note. The researchers hope to examine such questions in future studies.

"Our results highlight how patients' ways of coping, particularly their use of religious coping, factor prominently into the ultimate medical care patients receive. This suggests that clinicians should be attentive to terminally ill patients' religious views as they discuss prognosis and treatment options with them," said Prigerson, who is also an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "A greater understanding of the basis of patients' medical choices can go a long way toward achieving shared goals of care.


'/>"/>

Contact: Teresa Herbert
teresa_herbert@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5653
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Comparison of obstetric outcomes between on-call and patients own obstetricians
2. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
3. New link between estrogen and breast cancer
4. Link Uncovered Between Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and NSAIDs, Says Harvard Mens Health Watch
5. Link Between Chronic Pain and Insomnia Uncovered at PAINWeek 2007
6. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
7. Researchers discover correlation between GERD and obesity in females
8. NIH awards $10.8M to Columbia to study connection between diabetes and heart disease
9. Researchers Pinpoint Link Between Caloric Restriction and Longevity
10. Link Between Air Pollution, Stroke Gets Clearer
11. No Link Between Anti-Nausea Drug, Heart Trouble
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) is ... in Building 2. The clinic is the group’s second in New Braunfels and 22nd ... company’s second New Braunfels location brings things full circle for the group, “It’s crazy ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... The IoT (Internet of Things) is revolutionizing the way the world operates. ... individual consumers alike. Laboratories can maximize their profit margin by increasing throughput. ... to $11 trillion dollars by the year 2025. McKinsey expects the IoT to have ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... 82% of adults are unaware ... 3 kids do not brush their teeth the minimum two times a day that dentists ... with students missing 51 million hours of school and adults missing 164 million hours of ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... March is National Kidney Month – the perfect ... comes to maintaining good health. Every day, two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 ... of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating fluid levels and blood pressure, supporting bone health ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... The StayWell Company announced ... The accreditation covers StayWell’s asthma, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive ... that have excellent programs for the delivery and improvement of disease management and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... Prima BioMed has presented encouraging early signs ... combination with Keytruda, with one of the six melanoma ... response. Recruitment in the second cohort is complete and ... by Q317. Preliminary efficacy data from the 15-patient, run-in ... mid-year (recruitment in the 226-patient Phase IIb component is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... consolidated vendor landscape with the top five players ... in 2015. These companies are Stryker Sustainability Solutions, ... Health Services, Inc., and VANGUARD AG. Despite the ... devices market is witnessing the prevalence of fierce ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... MUMBAI , March 23, 2017 ... de Piramal Enterprises Limited, anuncia el nombramiento de ... PPS ofrece una plataforma de servicios integrados completa ... Needleman desempeñará un cargo clave en el crecimiento ... comercial, Needleman será responsable de impulsar todas las ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: