By Nursing home chaplain and Research fellow/Doctoral student, Tor Torbjørnsen
Innlandet Hospital Trust, Institute for Psychology of Religion, Oslo, Norway
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Religious coping (RC) has so far not been studied by use of Pargament’s theory in Norway. There are reasons to believe that such studies can contribute to the understanding of RC in Norway.
Design and method
15 Norwegian Hodgkin’s disease survivors has been interviewed semi structured, using Pargament’s theory in analyzing them in a qualitative design.
RC was a dynamic process of conservation for most (9) of the informants. Religious support (both spiritual and interpersonal) was the most important elements to help the informants to come through the disease and the time after. To be sick did not change their significance or the way they hold on to it.
RC was a dynamic, transforming process for a distinct minority. They changed what was significant for them and/or the ways they could reach it. Some changed totally belief and orienting system/view of life.
RC was of collaborative kind for all the informants. RC was a partnership between themselves, the oncological treatment/staff, and God. Traditional oncology, alternative treatment and traditional RC as for instance prayer, were supplementing approaches.
For many of the informants, it also was difficult to be a survivor. Both the sickness and being survivor was a challenge for RC.
The analysis shows that Pargaments theory is adaptable also on a Norwegian sample regarding the main dynamics of RC. The analysis detects few different RC methods than those in Pargament’s dominantly American samples. One of them is to get support from God mediated by nature. Some RC methods had a different dynamic. My preliminary analysis shows that “negative religious coping” has to be differentiated (as Pargament already have done in later studies) to be used meaningfully in my study.
Well functioning religious coping is found in a Norwegian sample of cancer survivors. Pargament’s theory is suitable for analyzing it.