Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 118–128 | Cite as

Prospective study of religious coping among patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation

  • Allen C. ShermanEmail author
  • Thomas G. Plante
  • Stephanie Simonton
  • Umaira Latif
  • Elias J. Anaissie
Research Article


Considerable attention has focused on relationships between religious or spiritual coping and health outcomes among cancer patients. However, few studies have differentiated among discrete dimensions of religious coping, and there have been surprisingly few prospective investigations. Negative or conflicted aspects of religious coping, in particular, represent a compelling area for investigation. This prospective study examined negative religious coping, positive religious coping, and general religious orientation among 94 myeloma patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation. Participants were assessed during stem cell collection, and again in the immediate aftermath of transplantation, when risks for morbidity are most elevated. Outcomes included Brief Symptom Inventory anxiety and depression and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant (FACT-BMI) scales. Negative religious coping at baseline predicted worse post-transplant anxiety, depression, emotional well-being, and transplant-related concerns, after controlling for outcome scores at baseline and other significant covariates. Post-transplant physical well-being was predicted by an interaction between baseline positive and negative religious coping. Results suggest that religious struggle may contribute to adverse changes in health outcomes for transplant patients, and highlight the importance of negative or strained religious responses to illness.


Positive and negative religious coping Multiple myeloma Autologous stem cell transplantation Health outcomes 



Supported by a grant from the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University. Based in part on data presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, March 26–29, 2008, San Diego, CA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allen C. Sherman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas G. Plante
    • 2
  • Stephanie Simonton
    • 1
  • Umaira Latif
    • 3
  • Elias J. Anaissie
    • 4
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine, #756, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer InstituteUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentSanta Clara University Santa Clara USA
  3. 3.Methodist Medical Center Cancer ProgramDallasUSA
  4. 4.Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer InstituteUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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