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Invited Commentary
June 24, 2013

Advancing Research on Spiritual Influences at the End of Life
Comment on “Provision of Spiritual Support to Patients With Advanced Cancer by Religious Communities and Associations With Medical Care at the End of Life”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Sociology, University of Texas, San Antonio (Dr Ellison); and Sinai Urban Health Institute, Mt Sinai Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Benjamins).

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1117-1118. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.922

Balboni and her team1 continue to highlight the role that religiousness and spiritual support play in the lives of patients with advanced cancer. Given the accumulating evidence linking aspects of religion and spirituality to a variety of health and health care–related outcomes, this line of work is needed to expand the literature to end-of-life (EoL) treatment decisions and well-being. The current study adds to the discussion by addressing the role of religious communities, in addition to spiritual support offered by health care providers and personal religiousness. This study also provides an ideal stepping point from which to discuss several conceptual and methodological issues.

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