METHOD: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with a convenience sample of 482 Iranian cancer patients. Participants completed demographic and health, death depression, and religious coping surveys.
RESULTS: After controlling for demographic and health characteristics, positive and negative religious coping behaviors were significantly related to the experience of death depression. There was an interaction effect between negative religious coping and extent of disease with significant positive relationships to the experience of death depression.
CONCLUSIONS: Negative religious coping was found to be more closely associated with death depression in patients with earlier stage disease than those with advanced stages of cancer in this sample of patients with cancer from Iran. Findings support assessing patients for use of religious coping strategies. Muslim patients who are religiously alienated and have existential anguish may be vulnerable and need heightened support following diagnosis and during treatment of early stage cancer.