"I Am Grateful for Every Day I Live": A Qualitative Study on the Spiritual Experiences of Women With Gynecological Cancer

USLU ŞAHAN F., ER KORUCU A., Cekic Y., Simsek S.

Cancer nursing, vol.46, no.5, pp.354-363, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/ncc.0000000000001137
  • Journal Name: Cancer nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, Psycinfo, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.354-363
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


BACKGROUND: Considering the life-threatening nature of gynecological cancers, spirituality and religious beliefs may play a key role in the experiences of the patients during the disease process and their coping. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the spiritual experiences of Muslim women with gynecological cancer during the disease process. METHODS: A qualitative, phenomenological, and hermeneutic approach was followed in the research. Fourteen women with gynecological cancer in Turkey were interviewed individually. The thematic analysis approach of Braun and Clarke was used to evaluate the data. RESULTS: The results of the data analysis revealed 3 themes (consisting of 9 subthemes): (1) reaction to cancer: spiritual distress (fear of death, perception of punishment, fear of obscurity and uncertainty, and being a cause of spiritual distress in the family); (2) reaction to cancer: spiritual well-being (accepting whatever may come from Allah, strengthening the faith in Allah); and (3) spiritual resources for coping with cancer (religious practices, hobbies and complementary practices, and family support). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study shed light on the cases that may cause spiritual distress and improve the spiritual well-being that is experienced by Muslim women with gynecological cancer during the disease process; they also reveal that religion has an effect on the experiences during the cancer process and the coping methods. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Healthcare professionals who care for Muslim women with gynecological cancer should plan spiritual care by being aware of the cultural characteristics and religious beliefs of these women and their families.