Research Article

Meaning in life in medical settings: A new measure correlating with psychological variables in disease

Article: 1286747 | Received 27 Oct 2016, Accepted 22 Jan 2017, Published online: 23 Feb 2017



Meaning in life or lack of it is frequently associated to the psychological adjustment to disease. This study aims at contributing to the clarification of the concept and developing a meaning in life scale which may be applied either in a clinical population or in the general population as well as presenting its psychometric evaluation. Four samples were used to perform the psychometric analyses, of which three of them represented different diseases. Sample one consists of 200 patients with colorectal cancer, where 51% are males, sample two consists of 150 females with breast cancer and sample three consists of 92 male patients mainly with prostatic cancer. Sample four consists of 88 healthy subjects of which 37.5% are males. Confirmatory Factorial Analysis was performed, and the maximum likelihood extraction method was applied. Findings suggested a unidimensional scale with a good model of fit across the four samples, acceptable reliability and appropriate convergent validity. There was a negative relationship with Anxiety and Depression and a positive relationship with Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction, Optimism and Social Support. No differences were found in the new scale concerning gender and cancer types. The meaning in life scale is a promising tool to be used in health settings.
Keywords: meaning in lifeassessmentcancerlife satisfactionoptimismanxietydepressionsocial supportquality of life

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