The role of spirituality in women with breast cancer: an integrative literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

The role of spirituality in women with breast cancer: an integrative literature review

Helen Kerr Senior lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Erniyati Fangidae Registered nurse, Fatululi, Oebobo, Kupang, Indonesia

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise that spirituality is an essential component of person-centred, holistic cancer care

  • To enhance your understanding of the positive and negative effects of spirituality on emotional, functional, physical, social and spiritual well-being for women with breast cancer

  • To appreciate that patients’ spiritual needs should be assessed and appropriate interventions incorporated into a plan of care

Spirituality is an aspect of human nature and should be incorporated into a person-centred, holistic assessment in cancer care. However, spiritual assessment in this context is often overlooked. This article discusses the findings of an integrative literature review which explored the role of spirituality in women with breast cancer. Four database searches were supplemented with searches of the reference lists of included articles and grey literature. A total of 18 articles were identified and four themes emerged inductively – the role of spirituality at pre-diagnosis, diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. Spirituality was reported to have negative and positive effects on a range of aspects of well-being, including emotional, functional, physical, social and spiritual. Spirituality is unique to each individual and nurses should provide holistic care that identifies the aspects of spirituality to which individuals attribute meaning. Nurses should ensure their practice incorporates an assessment of spirituality as part of a person-centred approach to care.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1811

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@kerr03

Correspondence

h.kerr@qub.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Kerr H, Fangidae E (2022) The role of spirituality in women with breast cancer: an integrative literature review. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1811

Acknowledgement

Erniyati Fangidae was awarded an Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan) scholarship for the programme of study associated with this literature review

Published online: 09 May 2022

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