Table of Contents:
The diagnosis cancer can be assiociated with a strong emotional burden for patients. The examination with religious or philosophical contents can give hold and orientation. A possible way to cope with the burden, is the positive or negative examination with God, the positive or negative religious Coping. Based on former studies, I supposed religiousness to be a potential resource to handle serious life events.
A special burden released by a cancer illness, is the patient’s fear, in particular the fear of the illness progress or the appearance of cancer reccurence. Herschbach et al. (2001) calls it the fear of progession.
The present cross sectional study examines the relation between positive and negative strategies of religious coping and the fear of progression, as well as the general fear of tumour patients.
The present study collected the data of 97 female patients, at the age between 30 and 81 years, with different cancer illnesses (breast cancer, gynecological lower abdominal tumour, haematological oncological illnesses etc.) by using a self-assessment questionnaire.
An adapted german version of the briefRCOPE (Pargament et al., 2000), the short form of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire (Herschbach; 2002) and the fear scale of the german version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Herrmann and Buss,1994) were used as instruments.
The statistical evaluation was done with bivariate correlation analyses as well as two linear regression analyses.
The results show that positive religious coping has no statistically significant correlation to the fear of progression and a weak, positive correlation to the general fear of tumour patients. In case of negative religious Coping a moderate correlation to fear of progression and general fear was shown. The explained variance ascertained by the regression analysis of fear of progression by positive and negative religious coping was R² = 15.2% and R² = 24.7% for general fear.
In conclusion these results support the former results of german studies to the relation between religious coping and the psychosocial outcomes of cancer patients. Negative religious coping seems to be a factor of vulnerability to fear of progression and the general fear of cancer patients. Positive religious coping as a positive resource for tumour patients, like in anglo-american studies already proved, can’t be confirmed on account of the results in this study. Differences to anglo-american studies could be explained by the diverse religious-cultural backgrounds of the different countries.The results of the present study indicates that negative religious coping could be used in clinical practise with tumour patients as a warning sign during observation of the patient’s psychic coping process, so that fear which is assiociated with negative religious coping could easier be recognised and handled.