1. In this scoping review, it was shown that spirituality allowed patients with breast cancer to better cope with their diagnosis and treatment.
2. Furthermore, some included studies showed that nurses may play an important role in discussing topics of coping and spirituality, and in creating a supportive environment for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Breast cancer is the leading cancer diagnosis in women and presents itself with life-altering emotional and physical implications. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of the role that spiritual coping has in response to a diagnosis of breast cancer. As a result, the objective of the present scoping review was to understand women’s spiritual and emotional coping experiences following a breast cancer diagnosis and to propose suggestions for clinical practice.
Of 1851 identified records, 20 studies were included from various databases from 2011-2019. Studies were included if they reported spirituality and emotional coping in breast cancer patients. Studies were excluded if they included women who had survived breast cancer, caregivers and family members, or patients with other types of cancer. The review was performed using Joanna Briggs Institute methodology and following PRISMA guidelines. Various study characteristics were extracted by the authors and were narratively summarized based on themes. The primary outcome was the spiritual experience of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
The results demonstrated that breast cancer patients identified spirituality as a positive coping strategy at the time of diagnosis and during treatment. Furthermore, spirituality was found to help women coping with breast cancer find meaning in their experience. It was also found that nurses can play an important role in supporting recently diagnosed patients by asking about the importance of spirituality and encouraging discussions about coping strategies. Despite these results, the review was limited by the lack of clinical trials or international studies investigating spirituality in breast cancer patients. Nonetheless, the present study emphasized the importance of spirituality as a coping strategy for patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
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