Spirituality and coping among survivors of prostate cancer

Janice V. Bowie, Kim Dobson Sydnor, Michal Granot, Kenneth I. Pargament

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This pilot study explored the influence of religion and spirituality on coping among survivors of prostate cancer. Thirty-eight men (14 African Americans and 24 Caucasians) completed a self-administered survey; 29 of the men participated in five locus group sessions. Four major themes emerged from these sessions: (1) the beneficial effect of faith or religious belief on coping with the disease, (2) the multiple functions of church social and spiritual support and educational forum. (3) the durability of faith in God. and (4) the distinction between religion and spirituality (institutional versus personal). Consistent with the group sessions, the survey data indicated that a majority of participants reported a high degree of religiosity, measured by denominational affiliation and attendance at places of worship. The data also showed that having prostate cancer influenced greater religious attendance, with the change attributed to a desire to gain spiritual support. Racial comparisons showed that the African American men had higher levels of religiosity than the Caucasian men did, as measured by church attendance, quality of spiritual life, and importance of God in the recovery process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The pilot research was supported by a grant from the Prostate Cancer Research Program, U.S. Department of Defense.


  • Coping
  • Ethnicity
  • Prostate cancer
  • Qualitative research
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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