Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the meaning of life in cancer patients and its association with clinical and demographic characteristics.
Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 150 patients who were referred to the department of oncology and radiotherapy centre of 5-Azar teaching Hospital (Gorgan). All eligible patients were seen during five months in 2013. Data were collected by use of MiLs questionnaire (Meaning in Life Scale). The instrument consists of four domain: harmony and peace, life perspective, confusion and lessened meaning, and benefits of spirituality, which contain of 21 questions. Total Meaning scores range between −3 to 17, the higher points, represent the favorable meaning of life (more positive view about life). The reliability coefficient Cronbach's alpha (0.87) was calculated. Spss software (version 18) was used for analysis and independent t-test and ANOVA were applied. The significance level for this test was considered 0.05.
Results: The mean age of patients was 48.31 ± 5.1 years. 47.3 per cent of patients were males. 52 per cent were urban residents, 34 per cent of those illiterate and 78.7 per cent of participants were married. Average score of meaning of life was 7.18 ± 1.99 from 17 score. Marital status (p < 0.029), type of treatment regimen (p < 0.012), number of children (p < 0.018) and place of residence (p < 0.046) are statistically meaning significant full relationship with total score of meaning of life.
Conclusion: Meaning of life of all participating in study was relatively good, which may be caused by the Islamic culture, so rich in concepts of meaning of life in all areas of life (health and disease).