Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria C. Dinis, M.S.W., PhD

Second Advisor

Rosemary Link, PhD

Third Advisor

Paul Berge, ThD


Despite the increasing literature on the significance of spirituality to individuals with a terminal illness, specific research focused on the spirituality of individuals in hospice is limited to several quantitative studies, only one with a qualitative component. This qualitative study expands understanding or experience through hermeneutic analysis of in-depth interviews with three individuals with a terminal illness. The individual's narratives revealed "believing" as the way they found meaning in the present moment. "Always believing" and "adamantly believing" in a Supreme Being gave their daily lives meaning and direction. They were steadfast in leaving all to God for this life and life after death. Implications for social work practice and policy are discussed.


SC 11.MSW.2001.Backman.GK

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Social Work Commons