RELIGIOSITY AND DISTRESS OUTCOMES IN WOMEN WITH CERVICAL CANCER
 
Kohli, N. and Ghosh, E.S.K., University of Allahabad, India
 
The research paper reports findings from the study of spiritual and religious beliefs as related to distress outcomes of Indian Women in treatment for cervical cancer. Methodological pluralism was followed in collecting and analysing the data. In the first method, data was analysed to uncover statistical relationships between psychological recovery and religious beliefs. Secondly, narrative analysis technique was followed to understand the interpretative meanings ascribed by the patients to their disease and its relationship to experienced psychological distress outcomes. The sample consisted of 60 women between the ages 35-60 years from a local government hospital at Allahabad, India. Semi-structured interview were conducted with the patients along with analysis of physician reports and hospital records. Results indicated that the three major attributions - physiological, psychosocial and socio-cultural which were related to transcendental beliefs in higher universal power/God appeared to have a decisive influence determining the distress evaluation and recovery from cancer. The results also indicated that objective evaluation through hospital records of the patients, thus, underlining the need for a multimethod approach in studying the relationship between spirituality and health. The findings were also examined in the context of the social environment and culture specific factors which appear to influence health, well-being and disease status.