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Cancer Health Center

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Spirituality in Cancer Care (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Screening and Assessment of Spiritual Concerns

Table 1. Assessment of Religion and Spirituality in Cancer Patients

ToolDeveloperPurpose/ Focus/ Subscale (No.)Specific to Cancer Patients?Level of Psychometric DevelopmentLength/ Other Characteristics/ Comments
Systems of Belief Inventory (SBI-15R)[7]Holland et al.Two factors: Beliefs/experience (10); religious social support (5)YesHighFour items assume belief in God
DRI/DUREL[5]Sherman et al.Religious involvement (5)YesModerate
FACIT-Sp[10,15]Brady et al.; PetermanTwo factors: Meaning & peace (8), faith (4)YesHigh. Limited cross-validation data.Part of FACT-G quality-of-life battery[11]
Brief RCOPE[8]Pargament et al.Two factors: Positive coping; negative coping/distressNoVery High
Fetzer Multidimensional Scale[21]FetzerMultiple subscalesNoHigh. Under development.
FICA: Spiritual history[1]Puchalski et al.Brief spiritual historyNoLowMD interview assessment
SPIRIT[19]MaugansIn-depth interview with guided questionsNoLowMD interview assessment
Spiritual Transformation Scale (STS)[18]Cole et al.Two factors: Spiritual Growth and Spiritual DeclineYesModerateForty items. Unique to assessing change in spiritual experience post-cancer diagnosis.


  1. Puchalski C, Romer AL: Taking a spiritual history allows clinicians to understand patients more fully. J Palliat Med 3(1): 129-137, 2000.
  2. Kristeller JL, Zumbrun CS, Schilling RF: 'I would if I could': how oncologists and oncology nurses address spiritual distress in cancer patients. Psychooncology 8 (5): 451-8, 1999 Sep-Oct.
  3. Sloan RP, Bagiella E, VandeCreek L, et al.: Should physicians prescribe religious activities? N Engl J Med 342 (25): 1913-6, 2000.
  4. Puchalski CM, Larson DB: Developing curricula in spirituality and medicine. Acad Med 73 (9): 970-4, 1998.
  5. Sherman AC, Plante TG, Simonton S, et al.: A multidimensional measure of religious involvement for cancer patients: the Duke Religious Index. Support Care Cancer 8 (2): 102-9, 2000.
  6. Koenig H, Parkerson GR Jr, Meador KG: Religion index for psychiatric research. Am J Psychiatry 154 (6): 885-6, 1997.
  7. Holland JC, Kash KM, Passik S, et al.: A brief spiritual beliefs inventory for use in quality of life research in life-threatening illness. Psychooncology 7 (6): 460-9, 1998 Nov-Dec.
  8. Pargament KI, Smith BW, Koenig HG, et al.: Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. J Sci Study Relig 37 (4): 710-24, 1998.
  9. Hills J, Paice JA, Cameron JR, et al.: Spirituality and distress in palliative care consultation. J Palliat Med 8 (4): 782-8, 2005.
  10. Brady MJ, Peterman AH, Fitchett G, et al.: A case for including spirituality in quality of life measurement in oncology. Psychooncology 8 (5): 417-28, 1999 Sep-Oct.
  11. Cella DF, Tulsky DS, Gray G, et al.: The Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy scale: development and validation of the general measure. J Clin Oncol 11 (3): 570-9, 1993.
  12. Canada AL, Murphy PE, Fitchett G, et al.: A 3-factor model for the FACIT-Sp. Psychooncology 17 (9): 908-16, 2008.
  13. O'Mahony S, Goulet J, Kornblith A, et al.: Desire for hastened death, cancer pain and depression: report of a longitudinal observational study. J Pain Symptom Manage 29 (5): 446-57, 2005.
  14. Krupski TL, Saigal CS, Hanley J, et al.: Patterns of care for men with prostate cancer after failure of primary treatment. Cancer 107 (2): 258-65, 2006.
  15. Peterman AH, Fitchett G, Brady MJ, et al.: Measuring spiritual well-being in people with cancer: the functional assessment of chronic illness therapy--Spiritual Well-being Scale (FACIT-Sp). Ann Behav Med 24 (1): 49-58, 2002 Winter.
  16. Whitford HS, Olver IN, Peterson MJ: Spirituality as a core domain in the assessment of quality of life in oncology. Psychooncology 17 (11): 1121-8, 2008.
  17. Johnson ME, Piderman KM, Sloan JA, et al.: Measuring spiritual quality of life in patients with cancer. J Support Oncol 5 (9): 437-42, 2007.
  18. Cole BS, Hopkins CM, Tisak J, et al.: Assessing spiritual growth and spiritual decline following a diagnosis of cancer: reliability and validity of the spiritual transformation scale. Psychooncology 17 (2): 112-21, 2008.
  19. Maugans TA: The SPIRITual history. Arch Fam Med 5 (1): 11-6, 1996.
  20. Borneman T, Ferrell B, Puchalski CM: Evaluation of the FICA Tool for Spiritual Assessment. J Pain Symptom Manage 40 (2): 163-73, 2010.
  21. Multidimensional Measurement of Religiousness/Spirituality for Use in Health Research: A Report of the Fetzer Institute/National Institute on Aging Working Group. Kalamazoo, Mich: Fetzer Institute, 1999.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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