Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 127-132

Does spirituality as a coping mechanism help or hinder coping with chronic pain?

  • Amy B. WachholtzAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, UMass Memorial Medical Center Email author 
  • , Michelle J. Pearce

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Chronic pain is a complex experience stemming from the interrelationship among biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors. Many chronic pain patients use religious/spiritual forms of coping, such as prayer and spiritual support, to cope with their pain. This article explores empirical research that illustrates how religion/spirituality may impact the experience of pain and may help or hinder the coping process. This article also provides practical suggestions for health care professionals to aid in the exploration of spiritual issues that may contribute to the pain experience.