Project period: 2020-2023
Tobias Kvist Stripp is a medical doctor and has begun as ph.d.-student with Niels Christian Hvidt as main supervisor on a project regarding spiritual needs among cancer patients and people who have survived cardiac arrest. It will include also the Greyson Scale on Near Death Experiences.
Background Research shows that people turn to faith traditions that they might formerly have rejected, the more they age, struggle with illness and approach death and that disease and crisis drive and intensify existential and spiritual needs and seeking. Being diagnosed with cancer or surviving cardiac arrest may represent such crises. Studies, also from Denmark, have found spirituality to be associated with reduced risk of cancer and with longevity, although only few studies have investigated the associations between spirituality, illness trajectory and longevity of older cancer patients. Research shows that many patients with cardiovascular disease experience high levels of unfulfilled existential and spiritual needs, and a moderately strong desire for the physician or other healthcare professionals to address those needs. The present study is thus motivated by the need for health professionals to know about cancer and heart patients’ spiritual resources and needs in order to provide adequate spiritual care in a secular culture, and also to shed light on near-death experiences in Denmark.
Objective (1) which spiritual resources and needs cancer patients and cardiac arrest survivors have. (2) what types of providers of spiritual care these patients utilize, and how they evaluate the support provided by these. (3) to what extent spiritual needs and resources, as well as spiritual support, impact these patients’ quality of life, perceptions of illness and illness trajectory. (4) positive and negative near-death experiences in Denmark.
Method The study is designed as a large survey-based cross-sectional study preceded by qualitative field-testing, interviews and validation of questionnaire. It is based on data from registers and a national survey.