Recent advancement in cancer management has led to improved survival rates resulting in an increase in the number of cancer survivors. Several studies have shown the crucial role of spirituality in coping with the disease process in this vulnerable population. The purpose of this research project was to deepen the understanding about the spiritual experiences of cancer survivors in long-term Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga Meditation (BK-RYM) practitioners. This study asked, “What is the lived spiritual experience of cancer survivorship in long term Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga meditation practitioners?” Research studies are lacking in cancer survivors with history of long-term meditation practice prior to cancer diagnosis.
A qualitative inquiry with interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach was chosen to gain a deeper understanding of the role of meditation in the life of cancer survivors. A total of six participants with history of cancer diagnosis were recruited from BK-RYM centers across the North America, South America and Australia. All the participants were interviewed in an in-depth, and open-ended manner. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using Smith and Osborn’s (2008) approach to IPA.
Seven super-ordinate themes with 28 themes as well as three outlier themes arose after thorough analysis. Super-ordinate themes included (a) mental stability and clarity, (b) spiritual connection and self-empowerment, (c) personal relationships with God, (d) healing practices, (e) empowering support system, (f) positive health outcomes, and (g) post-cancer spiritual growth. The three outlier sub-themes were grouped under the theme of “transient mental changes” and comprised of (a) shock as the initial reaction; (b) mind as a battlefield; (c) matter over mind. New themes identified were daily spiritual education, healing environment, maintaining same spiritual routine amidst cancer therapy, soul consciousness (in the context of cancer), detachment, and spiritual silence.
Integration of spiritually focused meditation early on at the time of cancer diagnosis could improve quality of life and well-being in cancer survivors. Such spiritual measures have implication to reduce healthcare cost by decreasing cancer related complications. Future research should focus on studying the impact of implementation of spiritual distress screening programs in cancer and other chronic ailments.
|Commitee:||Heintzman, Jennifer, Kelly, Lisa|
|Department:||Mind Body Medicine|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Cancer, Interpretative, Meditation, Phenomenology, Rajayoga, Spirituality|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be