The effect of spiritual interventions on quality of life of cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Renske Kruizinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of spiritual interventions on quality of life of cancer patients.

METHODS:
We conducted our search on June 6, 2014 in Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, and PubMed. All clinical trials were included that compared standard care with a spiritual intervention that addressed existential themes using a narrative approach. Study quality was evaluated by the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.

RESULTS:
A total of 4972 studies were identified, of which 14 clinical trials (2050 patients) met the inclusion criteria, and 12 trials (1878 patients) were included in the meta-analysis. The overall risk of bias was high. When combined, all studies showed a moderate effect (d) 0.50 (95% CI = 0.20-0.79) 0-2 weeks after the intervention on overall quality of life in favor of the spiritual interventions. Meta-analysis at 3-6 months after the intervention showed a small insignificant effect (0.14, 95% CI = -0.08 to 0.35). Subgroup analysis including only the western studies showed a small effect of 0.17 (95% CI = 0.05-0.29). Including only studies that met the allocation concealment criteria showed an insignificant effect of 0.14 (95% CI = -0.05 to 0.33).

CONCLUSIONS:
Directly after the intervention, spiritual interventions had a moderate beneficial effect in terms of improving quality of life of cancer patients compared with that of a control group. No evidence was found that the interventions maintained this effect up to 3-6 months after the intervention. Further research is needed to understand how spiritual interventions could contribute to a long-term effect of increasing or maintaining quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-265
JournalPsycho-Oncology: Journal of the psychological, social and behavioral dimensions of cancer
Volume25
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

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