By Advisor Stein Conradsen,
LMS – Sunnmøre Health Trust, Volda, Norway
Post Conference Ressources
Poster – download here
The topic of the study is “In a cultural perspective, how does life interpretation/view of life affect coping strategies among persons with cancer diagnoses”? Palliation and patient education are fields to benefit from the findings in the study.
The project plans to carry out a qualitative study among persons with cancer diagnoses. The design includes two semi-structured interviews with each informant, field studies at their homes and they will be asked to write diaries. We may find the RCOPE (The many methods of religious coping) useful as a part of the interviews.
The main scope is to contribute to better palliative services and patient education. The findings from this research may help health workers to communicate better with seriously ill patients.
Life interpretation: The concept of “view of life” closely relates to the expression, but “life interpretation” is intended to have a more individualistic approach. “View of life” is the institutionalized, social systems that the individual may refer to. Life interpretation is the individual construction using various elements – potentially from a number of traditions. The cultural context is a strongly determining force in the interpretation process, hence we need research tools sensitive to culture. In a late modern post-traditional setting, one may expect individual constructs to vary greatly and to be sensitive to altering life conditions and a individualistic concept seems needed. Still, the idea of the free and independent individual perhaps also proves to be overestimated.
Coping: The Antonovsky concept of Sense of Coherence is a widespread theory for understanding how individuals react to external and internal stressors. Using the three dimensions comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness one may explain some of the dynamic relations between life interpretation and coping. The Lazarus and Folkman definition of coping is also interesting, putting cognitive and behavioral efforts in focus. Ahmadi outlines five religious coping strategies from the RCOPE, she stresses that religion seems to have the potential for both positive and negative influence on coping.
Culture: Since research on this field largely has been carried out in the USA, there is need to needed to do more work in a scandinavian and norwegian context.
– Ahmadi, Fereshteh 2006: Culture, Religion and Spirituality in Coping. The Example of Cancer Patients in Sweden. Acta universitatis upsaliensis
– Antonovsky, Aaron 2004: Helbredets mysterium. Hans Reitzels forlag, København.
– Lazarus, R. S. & Folkman, S. 1984. Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. New York: Springer.
– Pargament, K. I. 1997: The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. New York: Guilford Press.