| Published: December 25, 2015
Individual Differences in Search for Meaning: The Role of Religion/Spirituality and Social Support-An Indian Perspective
Background: The diagnosis of cancer can shake the equanimity of the strongest individual and the onset of symptoms and eventual diagnosis are occasions for questions such as “Why me?”, “Why now?”, and “How did I get this illness?” Aims: The purpose of the present research on a sample of 103 recently diagnosed cancer patients was to investigate the extent of preoccupation with search for meaning, to document individual differences when one is confronted with a cancer diagnosis and to record changes if any in preoccupation during an interval of one month. Secondly to assess the role of religion/spirituality as well as social support in individual encounters with cancer by examining the effects of these two variables among individuals facing a common stressful situation. Lastly to examine relationship of search for meaning with psychological outcomes (anxiety, depression and quality of life). Results: The results indicated that individual differences did exist in the degree of preoccupation with “why me”, social support scores significantly differentiated between subgroups with different levels of preoccupation with “why me?” and that patients with highest engagement with “why me” had poorer quality of life and elevated distress levels. Conclusion: Findings highlighted the important role of meaning making issues and the need to address them in intervention. Secondly dialoguing with treating physicians regarding the important role of psychological variables and their relation to distress levels and quality of life.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2015 I S Tandon, S Mehrotra
Received: September 16, 2015; Revision Received: October 24, 2015; Accepted: December 25, 2015
Published in Volume 03, Issue 1, October-December, 2015