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Open Access Article

The Effects of Religiosity, Spirituality, and Social Support on Quality of Life: A Comparison Between Korean American and Korean Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Survivors

Jung-won Lim
Jaehee Yi
ONF 2009, 36(6), 699-708 DOI: 10.1188/09.ONF.699-708

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the differences in religiosity, spirituality, and quality of life (QOL) between Korean American and Korean breast and gynecologic cancer survivors and investigate the effect of religiosity, spirituality, and social support on QOL.

Design: Cross-sectional design.

Setting: Participants were recruited from hospitals and community-based support groups in the areas of Southern California and Seoul, Korea.

Sample: 161 women diagnosed with breast and gynecologic cancer (110 Koreans and 51 Korean Americans).

Methods: Participants completed a mailed questionnaire. To identify the QOL outcomes, religiosity, spirituality, and social support, four standardized measures were used.

Main Research Variables: QOL outcomes, religiosity, spirituality, religious involvement, and social support.

Findings: Religiosity and spirituality were related to some QOL outcomes in different patterns in Korean American and Korean breast and gynecologic cancer survivors. The effect on QOL, however, was not strong after controlling for covariates. Social support partially mediated the effect of spirituality on QOL but only among the Korean American cancer survivors.

Conclusions: The findings provide evidence that the effect of religiosity and spirituality on QOL varied between Korean American and Korean survivors. The mediating effect of social support between spirituality and QOL for Korean Americans also was demonstrated.

Implications for Nursing: The results present nursing practice and research implications that religiosity, spirituality, and social support need to be considered in developing services for enhancing QOL of immigrant cancer survivors.

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