In 2010, work began on a quantitative study on spiritual and religious coping strategies in relation to cancer. The study covers cancer victims throughout Sweden.
The study shows that the majority in Sweden tend to be spiritual rather than religious. But there is no empirical research in Sweden that shows to what extent spirituality, rather than religiousness, plays a role in coping with life-threatening illnesses. In the few studies that have been carried out, the focus has been on religious people. Many studies in this field have neglected the secular population. My study will therefore hopefully prove to be an important contribution to research into existential matters, with a primary focus on non-religious individuals' coping with serious illness. To answer the question, "What role does spiritual coping play in the event of life-threatening crises?" I have interviewed 51 cancer patients, religious and non-religious men and women between 25 and 83 years of age. All have been socialized in the Sweden cultural environment. This exploratory study has been used to design an extensive quantitative study of men and women with cancer. Therein, the matter in focus is how and to what extent spiritual coping strategies are used by religious and non-religious people.
The study is also the first in Sweden to look at the extent to which people with cancer use religious and spiritual coping strategies. The aim is to compare the use of religious and spiritual coping strategies among two different populations: one for which religion is not an integrated part of everyday life (the majority in Sweden) and one for which religion is an important part of life (the majority in the USA).