Understanding Motivations for Volunteering in a Sample of Hospital Volunteers Within an Oncologic Context: Relationship with Psychological Well-Being and Quality of Life

Sara Monteiro, Eliana Gonçalves, Anabela Pereira


Aim: Taking into account the increasing number of people who carry out voluntary activities, it becomes relevant to understand who these people are and what motivates them. Therefore, the present study aims at: (1) characterizing a sample of hospital volunteers within an oncologic context regarding socio-demographic variables, specific variables of a hospital volunteer and motivations for volunteering; and (2) analyzing the relation between motivations for volunteering, and indicators of psychological well-being and quality of life. Method: The sample is composed by 53 hospital volunteers, from Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro – Núcleo Regional do Centro, who work at the Instituto Português de Oncologia Francisco Gentil de Coimbra. The assessment tools included a socio-demographic and volunteering characterization questionnaire, the Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI; Portuguese version: Gonçalves, Monteiro, & Pereira, 2011), the Psychological Well-Being Manifestation Measure Scale (PWBMMS; Portuguese version: Monteiro, Tavares, & Pereira, 2006), and the WHO Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQOF-BREF; Portuguese version: Vaz Serra et al., 2006). Results: From the results obtained, we highlight that the most valued motivational functions are “values”, “experience”, and “enhancement”. Additionally, there was a positive association between the “values”, “experience”, “enhancement” functions, and the psychological well-being subscales and global well-being; and a negative association between the “protective” function and psychological and environment domains of quality of life. Conclusion: Interpretations of the results as well as their implications are discussed in the light of relevant literature.


volunteering; motivations for volunteering; psychological well-being; quality of life