Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 249-260

First online:

Religious Coping with Chronic Pain

  • Ellen Greene BushAffiliated withPsychological Resources
  • , Mark S. RyeAffiliated withUniversity of Dayton
  • , Curtis R. BrantAffiliated withBaldwin-Wallace College
  • , Erin EmeryAffiliated withBowling Green State University
  • , Kenneth I. PargamentAffiliated withBowling Green State University
  • , Camala A. RiessingerAffiliated withSparrow Regional Pain Center

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This study examined the role of religious and nonreligious cognitive-behavioral coping in a sample of 61 chronic pain patients from a midwestern pain clinic. Participants described their chronic pain and indicated their use of religious and nonreligious cognitive-behavioral coping strategies. Results supported a multidimensional conceptualization of religious coping that includes both positive and negative strategies. Positive religious coping strategies were associated significantly with positive affect and religious outcome after statistically controlling for demographic variables. In contrast, measures of negative religious coping strategies were not associated significantly with outcome variables. Several significant associations also were found between nonreligious cognitive-behavioral coping strategies and outcome variables. The results underscore the need for further research concerning the contributions of religious coping in adjustment to chronic pain. Practitioners of applied psychophysiology should assess their chronic pain patients' religious appraisals and religious coping as another important stress management strategy.

religion chronic pain coping