Aims: Spirituality and the Meaning in Life (MiL) are important for the mental supports for the cancer patients. This study aims to assess the psychological and existential problems of the Japanese female breast cancer patients, compared with the normal women.
Methods: Patients (age 30-70) diagnosed as Stage Ⅰ-Ⅲ, without recurrence and metastasis, with no mental illness were asked to answer the questionnaires. 66 patients filled-in the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ30), the Subjective Well-being Inventory (SUBI), the Schedule for Meaning in Life Evaluation (SMiLE) and the subscale of Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual (FACIT-Sp12). 200 normal females filled-in the same questionnaires. Individual interviews were performed to assess the psychological conditions of the patients.
Results: (A) Mean age were 54.6±10.4 for the patients (P) and 49.6± 11.1 for the normal (N). There were no significant differences between P and N as for the scores of SDS, STAI, GHQ30, the positive items of SUBI, SMiLE and FACIT-Sp12. The differences of the faith subscale of FACIT-Sp12 (p<0.01) and the negative items of SUBI (p<0.05) were significant, where P showed the higher score. In P the correlation coefficients between FACIT-Sp12 and SDS, STAI-State, STAI-Trait, GHQ30 were -0.42, -0.56, -0.59 and -0.40(p<0.01) respectively, while those between FACIT-Sp12 and the SUBI were 0.68(positive) and 0.55(negative) respectively (p<0.01). The tendency was the same for the correlation between SMiLE and other scores.
(B) Many experienced the cancer positively as the opportunity to confirm the relationship with others and to accept the weakness of their own.
Conclusion: The cancer patients were not more depressive, anxious, nervous, or negative. Spirituality and MiL are considered as indices of the well-being of the patients. Further analysis with more data would be presented at the congress.
Acknowledgment: This work was supported by JSPS.