The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor

By Harold G. Koenig; Harvey Jay Cohen | Go to book overview

5
Psychosocial Interventions
and Prognosis in Cancer
DAVID SPIEGEL & FAWZY I. FAWZY

Over the last 20 years, research in psycho-oncology has progressed through several important phases to provide clinicians with a framework for understanding and treating the psychological needs of cancer patients. In the initial phase, researchers used observations of the types of distress experienced by cancer patients to develop effective interventions to help with these problems. During this same period, there was growing evidence that both psychological and social factors play roles in the progression of cancer and survival time with cancer. Indeed, by the late 1980s and early 1990s, evidence emerged suggesting that certain negative psychological states can enhance the progression of cancer, whereas social connections and social support may slow its progression. More recently, studies have been conducted to identify mediating immune and endocrine mechanisms for these effects.

This chapter explores the impact of psychosocial variables on cancer recurrence and survival, as well as the evidence that psychosocial interventions can be used to affect the clinical course of this illness. It also examines the evidence that religion and spirituality, as elements of psychosocial support, have a role to play in the support, treatment, and prognosis of cancer patients.


Psychosocial Variables and Cancer Recurrence and Survival

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, descriptive studies began appearing in the literature, documenting both positive and negative psychologi

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The Link between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword *
  • Contents ix
  • Contributors xi
  • The Link Between Religion and Health *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Connection Between Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion 11
  • References *
  • 2 - The Development and History of Psychoneuroimmunology 31
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 3 - Understanding How Stress Affects the Physical Body 43
  • References 60
  • 4 - Stress, Natural Killer Cells, and Cancer 69
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 5 - Psychosocial Interventions and Prognosis in Cancer 84
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 6 - Psychosocial Stress, Social Networks, and Susceptibility to Infection 101
  • References 117
  • 7 - Psychosocial Factors, Immunity, and Wound Healing 124
  • References *
  • 8 - Psychosocial Factors, Spirituality/ Religiousness, and Immune Function in Hiv/aids Patients 139
  • Note *
  • References *
  • 9 - Hostility, Neuroendocrine Changes, and Health Outcomes 160
  • References *
  • 10 - Psychological Stress and Autoimmune Disease 174
  • References *
  • 11 - Immune, Neuroendocrine, and Religious Measures 197
  • References *
  • 12 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Eastern Religious Traditions 250
  • References *
  • 13 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Western Religious Traditions 262
  • References *
  • 14 - Psychoneuroimmunology and Religion: Implications for Society and Culture 275
  • References *
  • 15 - Avenues for Future Research 286
  • Conclusions 295
  • Index 297
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