Fereshteh Ahmadi is professor of sociology since 2009. I concluded my Ph.D in sociology at Uppsala University in 1995
I became associate professor in 2001 at the same university.
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The purpose of this project is to implement international studies on meaning-making coping among people who have been affected by cancer; this in order to understand the influence of culture on the use of these methods. The term " meaning-making coping" is used to describe the coping methods related to existential questions, i.e., the whole spectrum of religious, spiritual (religious-spiritual and not religious-spiritual) and existential coping methods. The study is conducted in Sweden, China, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Iran, and Portugal.
The project builds on two previous projects: a) a qualitative study on "Religious and spiritual coping methods among cancer sufferers in Sweden" (2000-2006). The grant was obtained from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Sciences- FAS. Results have been published in the form of two monographs and an article. Final report has been sent. b) a survey on "Religious and spiritual coping methods among cancer sufferers in Sweden" (2010-2012).
Existential relevance for human well-being has been highlighted in recent decades. However, when I completed my survey of religious and spiritual coping methods in 2009, there were not any empirical study that showed the extent to which spirituality, rather than denominational religiosity, played the role of coping in serious crises. In the few studies that had been done had been focused on religious people. Many studies in this field, even internationally, had neglected the non-religious populations. Already in 2001-2004, I conducted a qualitative study to answer the question "what is the role of spiritual coping methods (even the non-religious) in life-threatening crises?" And "what is the role of culture in the selection of these methods."
I had interviewed 51 cancer patients, religious and non-religious men and women 25-83 years of age (Ahmadi 2006). All had been socialized in the Swedish cultural environment. This exploratory study was used to design a more extensive quantitative study of cancer patients, men and women. I have been in 2009 conducted a quantitative study to examine the extent to which the results obtained in the qualitative study among patients with cancer in Sweden applies to a wider population of cancer patients in this country. The design of the new quantitative study I have, in addition to questions from the previous qualitative survey study also used a RCOPE questionnaire (designed by Kenneth I. Pargament). Surveys were distributed to various cancer organizations; 2355 people diagnosed with cancer responded. The majority of respondents (71%) were 59+.
The goal of the international project is to study which meaning-making coping methods are used in different cultures. We also want to see what new meaning-making methods that can be found, in order to develop our theory about the importance of culture in coping.
The study in each country is conducted in two steps:
Selection: The informants (15-50 persons) selected from among male and female cancer patients aged 18 years and older. None of the participants should be chosen for their interest in religion or spirituality.
The aim and the questionnaire which is used in this project are checked by the Ethical committee (EPN) in Sweden and are approved.
The four general requirements for research are taken into consideration carefully. These are the information requirement, the requirement of consent, confidentiality requirements and usage requirements. All researchers have a rich experience in research among vulnerable people and are aware that in these studies dealt with sensitive information consideration should be given to the ethical rules.
In certain countries since the country’s law requires a local an additional ethical permission the permission is applied.
The four general requirements for research will be met with some modification. These are the information requirement, the requirement of consent, confidentiality requirements and usage requirements. All researchers have experience in research among vulnerable people and are aware that in these studies dealt with sensitive information and that consideration should be given to the highest degree of ethical rules.