Spirituality is one of human capabilities providing problem solving and coping strategies; in addition, it creates a sense of meaning, against disaster and confusion, as a social support resource. Spiritual well-being is a state of health expressing emotions, behaviors, and positive cognitions of self-, others, nature, and a super entity communication. Elderly is an undeniable evolutionary period of human being. Getting older, elderlies would undergo several physical and mental problems including cancer. Knowledge of cancer may influence several life aspects among elderlies, the most important of which may include death anxiety and life satisfaction. Life satisfaction indicates the individual positive attitude to the world where he lives. It is inclusively related to the individual needs. With the knowledge of cancer, there would be an inconsistency between the individual’s needs and natural tendencies leading to life dissatisfaction among the patients suffering from cancer.
The present research is conducted to study the correlation between spiritual well-being with life satisfaction and death anxiety among patients enduring cancer at major hospitals in Tehran. Given the increased population of elderlies, high prevalence of cancer and its malicious effect, and regarding cancer incidence in recent decades influencing different life aspects including life satisfaction and death anxiety; and otherwise, the effect of life satisfaction and death anxiety on cancer progression, the present research is significant considered as national research priorities.
This is a descriptive-correlation study. Research statistical population included Iranian elderlies enduring cancer at major hospitals in Tehran in 2016. 185 research samples were selected based on inclusion criteria through convenience sampling method using a demographic questionnaire, spiritual well-being scale (Ferry and Dollman), satisfaction with life scale (SWLS; Diener), and death anxiety scale (Templler). Research data were analyzed through SPSS 20 using multiple linear regression analysis, independent t-test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Further, the correlation between the two variables was tested by Pearson correlation coefficient at significance level 0.05.
The research showed that there is a positive significant relationship between spiritual well-being and life satisfaction (at 0.05). In other word, spiritual well-being can predict satisfaction with life in understudied elderlies. In addition, there was seen a significant inverse relationship between death anxiety and spiritual well-being. As a result, the individuals with higher spiritual well-being would experience less death anxiety.
Spiritual well-being is of effective factors of death anxiety and satisfaction with life among elderlies suffering from cancer. Spirituality and meeting spiritual needs are considered as nursing care priorities for elderlies. Paying attention to the elderlies’ spirituality by nurses may shield against individual difficulties; furthermore, it also reduces mental disorders and improves mental health and satisfaction with life in elderlies.