Spirituality of Thai Buddhists with chronic cardiovascular disease

Thittaya Phutthikhamin, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston

Abstract

Background. Advances in medical technology contribute to the survival rate of a growing number of persons with chronic illnesses. Individuals with chronic cardiovascular disease (chronic CVD) are among other chronically ill persons who add to the need for healthcare services. They need to cope and live with the chronic conditions and find a new balance to make sense of their lives. Thai Buddhists with chronic CVD may use their religious resources to cope with their illnesses because religious beliefs are reflected in patterns of living. The aims of the study were to: (a) explore how Thai Buddhists with chronic CVD construct the spiritual aspects of the illness experience, (b) explore how Thai Buddhists with chronic CVD may use their spiritual/religious resources as a means of coping with the illness, and (c) explore the impacts of spiritual/religious beliefs and/or practices on the daily lives of Thai Buddhists with chronic CVD. ^ Methods. Ethnography was employed and data were collected from December 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008 using in-depth interviews with 20 participants. Field notes were also recorded. ^ Findings. Three categories emerged from the study data: set of spiritual and biomedical beliefs and practices, integrated meanings, and positive consequences of the integration of spiritual and biomedical beliefs and practices. ^ Conclusions. The findings of the study suggest the importance of understanding and integrating spiritual needs into care of patients with chronic CVD. The findings revealed that the participants constructed ideas of their illness and meanings for living and coping with the illness, and integrated spiritual and biomedical beliefs and practices, resulting in positive outcomes. Further research could test interventions which facilitate such coping; for example, using reflective thinking and group support. Other studies might explore how age affects Buddhist views of the illness. ^

Subject Area

Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Religious|Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

Phutthikhamin, Thittaya, "Spirituality of Thai Buddhists with chronic cardiovascular disease" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3343962.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3343962

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