Spirituality and Quality of Life in Chronic Illness

By Adegbola, Maxine Rn, Msn | Journal of Theory Construction and Testing, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Spirituality and Quality of Life in Chronic Illness


Adegbola, Maxine Rn, Msn, Journal of Theory Construction and Testing


Abstract:

Chronic illness presents challenges and opportunities to the person affected. Persons with chronic illness have identified spirituality as a resource that promotes quality of life. Few authors and researchers have considered spirituality as a factor in quality of life. This paper presents theoretical and research tools to support the inclusion of spirituality and quality of life assessments as inseparable, essential elements in the care of persons with chronic illness. The philosophical underpinnings of nursing are caring and holism. Because of these underpinnings, nursing is well positioned to implement spiritual interventions in practice, propel the development of theory, and build a body of evidence to promote quality of life for persons with chronic illnesses.

Keywords: spirituality, quality of life, FACT-Sp, FACT-G, chronic, holistic health

The focus of healthcare has shifted from acute, infectious diseases to chronic states (Lorig & Holman, 2003; Lorig, 1993; Schlenk et al., 1998). Chronicity is an irreversible state of disease for which there is no cure (Connelly, 1987). The prudent individual with chronic disease must employ strategies to reduce the impact of the illness. By reducing the impact of the illness and enhancing health, the individual strives for balanced bio-psycho-social-spiritual health and well-being.

The individual's subjective psychological outlook in the presence or absence of physiological and functional burden determines the individual's perceived quality of life (Burckhart & Anderson, 2003; Murdaugh, 1997). Quality of life (QOL) then in the context of chronicity is a multidimensional, multifaceted, dynamic, subjective view of varying degrees of health-related satisfaction. This health-related satisfaction is connected to spiritual well being. Spirituality is an important part of wellness and indispensable in holistic, multidisciplinary care (Young & Koopsen, 2005; Hill & Pargament, 2003; O'Connell & Skevington, 2005).

Some have confusingly represented spirituality as religiosity, but the two, although contiguous, are not synonymous. Spirituality is a broader, overarching domain that may include religiosity, but religiosity is not a necessary element of spirituality (CooperEffa, Blount, Kaslow, Rothenberg, & Eckman, 2001; Estanek, 2006). Spirituality is best described by the apt quote that is attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,

"We are not human beings having a spiritual journey, but spiritual beings having a human experience"-(Teilhard de Chardin, n.d.).

In recent years, numerous documents and research articles have been published on religiosity and health, but few have focused on spirituality and health (Peterman, Fitchett, Brady, Hernandez, & Cella, 2002). Even fewer have considered spirituality as a factor in maintaining quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical and research tools to support the inclusion of spirituality and quality of life assessments as inseparable, essential elements in the care of persons with chronic illness. Care that prevents the broken spirit and enhances spiritual balance has the potential for improving QOL. The implications of the constructs for practice, theory development, and research will be described.

Quality of Life

With today's healthcare delivery system and impact of managed care, it becomes imperative to justify interventions that promote quality of life , show cost effectiveness of treatment options (Thomas, 2000), and can holistically include spiritual needs (Krupski, 2006). The subjectivity and multidimensionality of individual's spiritual needs result in a phenomenon that is not clearly understood by others, as the individual adapts to disease and illness burden. The adaptation of the individual to a gap existing between expected and actual functional states may have health policy implications. Individuals with chronic illness, who unexpectedly tolerate more aggressive therapy, and demonstrate resilience, perplex healthcare providers, stakeholders, and expert planners (Bonomi, 1996; Cella et al.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Spirituality and Quality of Life in Chronic Illness
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.