Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 120-127

Religious coping and hospital admissions among adults with sickle cell disease

  • Shawn M. BediakoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Email author 
  • , Lakshmi LattimerAffiliated withThe Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • , Carlton HaywoodJrAffiliated withDivision of Hematology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • , Neda RatanawongsaAffiliated withCenter for Vulnerable Populations, University of California
  • , Sophie LanzkronAffiliated withDivision of Hematology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • , Mary Catherine BeachAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

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Although a well-established literature implicates religiosity as a central element of the African American experience, little is known about how individuals from this group utilize religion to cope with specific health-related stressors. The present study examined the relation between religious coping and hospital admissions among a cohort of 95 adults with sickle cell disease—a genetic blood disorder that, in the United States, primarily affects people of African ancestry. Multiple regression analyses indicated that positive religious coping uniquely accounted for variance in hospital admissions after adjusting for other demographic and diagnostic variables. Specifically, greater endorsement of positive religious coping was associated with significantly fewer hospital admissions (β = −.29, P < .05). These results indicate a need for further investigation of the roles that religion and spirituality play in adjustment to sickle cell disease and their influence on health care utilization patterns and health outcomes.


Religious coping Hospital admissions Sickle cell disease