Background: Existing spiritual support scales for use with cancer survivors focus on the support believed to come from a religious community, clergy, or health care providers.
Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of a new measure of spiritual support believed to come from God in older Christian African American cancer survivors.
Methods: The Perceived Support From God Scale was administered to 317 African American cancer survivors aged 55-89 years. Psychometric evaluation involved identifying underlying factors, conducting item analysis and estimating reliability, and obtaining evidence on the relationship to other variables or the extent to which the Perceived Support From God Scale correlates with religious involvement and depression.
Results: The Perceived Support From God Scale consists of 15 items in two subscales (Support From God and God's Purpose for Me). The two subscales explained 59% of the variance. Cronbach's α coefficients were .94 and .86 for the Support From God and God's Purpose for Me subscales, respectively. Test-retest correlations were strong, supporting the temporal stability of the instrument. Pearson's correlations to an existing religious involvement and beliefs scale were moderate to strong. Subscale scores on Support From God were negatively correlated to depression.
Discussion: Initial support for reliability and validity was demonstrated for the Perceived Support From God Scale. The scale captures a facet of spirituality not emphasized in other measures. Further research is needed to evaluate the scale with persons of other racial/ethnic groups and to explore the relationship of spirituality to other outcome measures.