“Let Go, Let God”: A Qualitative Study Exploring Cancer Patients’ Spirituality and Its Place in the Medical Setting

  • Toni Marie Cipriano-SteffensEmail author
  • Theresa Carilli
  • Fay Hlubocky
  • Michael Quinn
  • George Fitchett
  • Blase Polite
Original Paper


This study explored the role of God and spirituality in cancer patients to gain deeper insight into how patients use their spirituality to cope during illness, including how they see the medical team meeting their spiritual needs. From our work, some naturally emerging themes included Finding God in Cancer and Healing, Spiritual Support Desired from Medical Community, Doctor as “Gift from God”?, and Communication and the Power of Talk. Cancer patients not only acknowledged a spiritual need, but a desire for it to be addressed by their medical team as part of their treatment.


Cancer Doctor Spirituality Religion God Communication Chaplaincy 



This study was supported by Grant # 36441 from the John F. Templeton Foundation (BNP, TCS, FJH, GF).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Purdue University NorthwestCalumetUSA
  3. 3.Department of ReligionRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of MedicineThe University of Chicago Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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