Spirituality, Patients' Worry, and Follow-Up Health-Care Utilization among Cancer Survivors

Anthony J. Cannon, Deborah L. Darrington, Elizabeth C. Reed, Fausto R. Loberiza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Spirituality may aid cancer survivors as they attempt to interpret the meaning of their experience. Objective: We examined the relationship between spirituality, patient-rated worry, and health-care utilization among 551 cancer survivors with different malignancies, who were evaluated prospectively. Methods: Baseline spirituality scores were categorized into low and high spirituality groups. Patient-rated worries regarding disease recurrence/progression, developing new cancer, and developing complications from treatment were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months. Follow-up health-care utilization was also examined at 6 and 12 months. Results: Among the survivors, 271 (49%) reported low spirituality and 280 (51%) reported high spirituality. Of the cohort, 59% had some kind of worry regarding disease recurrence/progression, development of new cancers, and treatment complications. Highly spiritual survivors were less likely to have high levels of worries at both 6 and 12 months. Highly worried survivors were significantly more likely to place phone calls to their follow-up providers and had more frequent follow-up visits at 6 and 12 months. No interactions between spirituality and level of worry were noted to affect follow-up health-care utilization. Conclusion: Given spirituality's effect on anxiety, spirituality-based intervention may have a role in addressing cancer survivors' worries but may not improve health-care utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Supportive Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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