The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between negative religious coping (NRC) and suicidal ideation in patients with advanced cancer, controlling for demographic and disease characteristics and risk and protective factors for suicidal ideation.
Adult patients with advanced cancer (life expectancy ≤6 months) were recruited from seven medical centers in the northeastern and southwestern USA (n = 603). Trained raters verbally administered the examined measures to patients upon study entry. Multivariable logistic regression analyses regressed suicidal ideation on NRC controlling for significant demographic, disease, risk, and protective factors.
Negative religious coping was associated with an increased risk for suicidal ideation (OR, 2.65 [95% CI, 1.22, 5.74], p = 0.01) after controlling for demographic and disease characteristics, mental and physical health, self-efficacy, secular coping, social support, spiritual care received, global religiousness and spirituality, and positive religious coping.
Negative religious coping is a robust correlate of suicidal ideation. Assessment of NRC in patients with advanced cancer may identify patients experiencing spiritual distress and those at risk for suicidal ideation. Confirmation of these results in future studies would suggest the need for interventions targeting the reduction of NRC to reduce suicidal ideation among advanced cancer patients.