Barriers and facilitators of spiritual therapy in cancer patients in Iran: A qualitative study | Abstract

Journal of Research in Medical and Dental Science
eISSN No. 2347-2367 pISSN No. 2347-2545

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Barriers and facilitators of spiritual therapy in cancer patients in Iran: A qualitative study

Author(s): Maryam Montazeri, Saeid Nazari-Tavakkoli, Mahmood Abbasi, Mehrzad Kiani, Bagher Ghobary Bonab, Fariba Borhani


As a life-threatening disease, cancer requires the use of spiritual therapy. However, spiritual therapy is not sufficiently utilized for cancer patients in Iran. The present study was therefore conducted with the aim to identify barriers to and facilitators of spiritual therapy in Iran. The present qualitative study enrolled 25 participants using Granheim-Lundman's content analysis approach. Data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling continued until saturation of data occurred. Analysis of data led to the emergence of disharmony in treatment conditions (disharmony in values, reductionism in treatment, marginalization of spiritual care, absence of a strategic spiritual therapy plan, routine base treatment, routinebased treatment as barriers to spiritual therapy, personal and value capitals, the therapist's value and personal capitals, the patient's value and personal capitals and the patient's family attributes as facilitators of spiritual therapy. Results revealed several barriers to implementation of spiritual therapy in Iran, which have to be dealt with and eliminated. The health systems should avoid reductionist and routine-orientated treatment. Besides elimination of these barriers, efforts should be made to strengthen facilitators (personal and value capitals of the therapist and the patient), so that spiritual therapy can be further used in the treatment of cancer patients.

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