Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, 32:570

Prayer and reverence in naturalistic, aesthetic, and socio-moral contexts predicted fewer complications following coronary artery bypass

  • Amy L. Ai
  • Paul Wink
  • Terrence N. Tice
  • Steven F. Bolling
  • Marshall Shearer
Article

Abstract

This prospective study explores prayer, reverence, and other aspects of faith in postoperative complications and hospital length of stay of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Alongside traditional religiousness measures, we examined sense of reverence in religious and secular contexts. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 177 patients 2 weeks before surgery at a medical center. Medical variables were retrieved from the national Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ Database. Logistic and multiple regression models were performed to predict outcomes. Prayer frequencies were associated with reduced complications but not hospitalization. Sense of reverence in secular contexts predicted fewer complications and shorter hospitalization. Controlling for complications reduced the initial influence of reverence on hospitalization, suggesting the potential mediation of complications. No interaction between demographics and faith factors was evident. The role of faith in medicine is complex and context-dependent. Future studies are needed on mediating factors.

Keywords

Multi-faceted measures and effects of religion and spirituality Diverse faiths and sense of reverence in different context A sense of deep interconnectedness Spiritual seeking Prayer Cardiovascular diseases and coronary artery bypass surgery 

References

  1. Ai, A. L. (2000). Spiritual well-being, spiritual growth, and spiritual care for the aged: A cross-faith and interdisciplinary effort. The Journal of Religious Gerontology, 11, 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ai, A. L., Dunkle, R. E., Peterson, C., & Bolling, S. F. (1998). The role of private prayer in psychosocial recovery among midlife and aged patients following cardiac surgery. The Gerontologist, 38, 591–601.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ai, A. L., Park, C., Huang, B., Rodgers, W., & Tice, T. N. (2007). Psychosocial mediation of religious coping: A prospective study of short-term psychological distress after cardiac surgery. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 867–882.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ai, A. L., Park, C., & Shearer, M. (2008). Spiritual or religious involvement related to end-of-life decision in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 38, 111–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ai, A. L., Peterson, C., Bolling, S. F., & Rodgers, W. (2006). Depression, faith-based coping, and short-term post-operative global functioning in adult and older patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 60, 21–28.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Ai, A. L., Tice, T. N., &. Kelsey, C. L. (2009). The paradox following September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: The role of deep interconnectedness and deep conflict in posttraumatic growth and stress. In M. Morgan (Ed.), The day that changed everything? Looking at the impact of 9–11 at the end of the decade. Greenwood/Praeger International Security Press. Google Scholar
  7. American Heart Association (AHA). (2008). Heart and Stroke Statistical Update. Retrieved June 9, 2005, from http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1200078608862HS_Stats%202008.final.pdf.
  8. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M. A., Ironson, J., Thoresen, C., Powell, L., Czajkowski, S., et al. (2007). Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction. Psychosomatic Medicine, 69, 501–508.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Buber, M. (1958). I and thou. New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons.Google Scholar
  11. Chareonthaitawee, P., Gersh, B. J., Araoz, P. A., & Gibbons, R. J. (2005). Revascularization in severe left ventricular dysfunction: The role of viability testing. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 46, 567–574.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Chatters, L. M., Levin, J. S., & Taylor, R. J. (1992). Antecedents and dimensions of religious involvement among older Black adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 47B, S269–S278.Google Scholar
  13. Contrada, R. J., Goyal, T. M., Cather, C., Rafalson, L., Idler, E. L., & Krause, T. (2004). Psychosocial factors in outcomes of heart surgery: The impact of religious involvement and depressive symptoms. Health Psychology, 23, 227–238.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Dillon, M., & Wink, P. (2007). In the course of a lifetime: Tracing religious belief, practice, and change. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dilthey, W. (1991). In R. A. Makkreel & F. Rodi (Eds.), Selected works: Volume I: Introduction to the human sciences; Volume II. The formation of the historical world in the human sciences. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Elkins, D. N., Hedstrom, L. J., Hughes, L. L., Leaf, J. A., & Saunders, C. (1988). Toward a humanistic-phenomenological spirituality: Definition, description, and measurement. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 28, 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Falkenhain, M., & Handal, P. J. (2003). Religion, death attitudes, and belief in afterlife in the elderly: Untangling the relationships. Journal of Religion and Health, 42, 67–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ferguson, T. B., Hammill, B. G., Peterson, E. D., Delong, E. R., & Grover, F. L. (2002). A decade of change—Risk profiles and outcomes for isolated coronary artery bypass grafting procedures, 1990–1999: A report from the STS National Database Committee and the Duke Clinial Research Institute. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 73, 480–490.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Fortescue, E. B., Kahn, K., & Bates, D. V. (2001). Development and validation of a clinical prediction rule for major adverse outcomes in coronary bypass grafting. The American Journal of Cardiology, 88, 1251–1258.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Fosdick, H. E. (1929). What is Christianity? Harper’s Magazine, 158, 551–561.Google Scholar
  21. Fredrickson, B. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–228.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Fredrickson, B. L., & Levenson, R. W. (1998). Positive emotions speed recovery from the cardiovascular sequelae of negative emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 12, 191–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 365–376.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Fromm, E. (1950). Psychoanalysis and religion. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Fuller, R. C. (2001). Spiritual, but not religious. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gant, P. M. (1928). The moral and religious life of the individual in the light of the new psychology. Mental Hygiene, 12, 449–491.Google Scholar
  27. George, L., Ellison, C., & Larson, D. (2002). Explaining the relationships between religious involvement and health. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 190–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Guralnick, D. B. (1978). In D. B. Guralnick (Ed.), Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language (2nd College Edition). William Collins + World Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, P., & Hood, R. W. (1999). Affect, religion, and unconscious process. Journal of Personality, 67, 1015–1046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 64–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Holmes, S. D., Krantz, D. S., Rogers, R., John Gottdiener, J., & Contrada, R. J. (2006). Mental stress and coronary artery disease: A multidisciplinary guide. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, 49, 106–122.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Hout, M., & Fisher, C. (2002). Why more Americans have no religious preference: Politics and generations. American Sociological Review, 67, 165–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hummer, R. A., Rogers, R. G., Nam, C. B., & Ellison, C. G. (1999). Religious involvement and US adult mortality. Demography, 36, 3–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. James, W. (1902/1958). The varieties of religious experience: A study in human nature. New York: The New American Library.Google Scholar
  35. Jonas-Simpson, C. (1998). Feeling understood: A melody of human becoming. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences & Engineering, 58, 12B.Google Scholar
  36. Kass, J. D., Friedman, R., Leserman, J., Zuttermeister, P. C., & Benson, H. (1991). Health outcomes and a new index of spiritual experience. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 20, 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Keltner, D., & Haidt, J. (2003). Approaching awe, a moral, spiritual, and aesthetic emotion. Cognition and Emotion, 17, 297–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kleinbaum, D. G., Kupper, L. L., Muller, K. E., Kleinbaum, A., & David, G. (1988). Applied regression analysis and other multivariable methods (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: PWS-Kent.Google Scholar
  39. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Low, B. S. (1996). Behavioral ecology of conservation in traditional societies. Human Nature, 7, 353–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Maslow, A. (1970). Religions, values, and peak experiences. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  42. Masters, K. S., Hill, R. D., Kircher, J. C., Lensegrav-Benson, T. L., & Fallon, J. A. (2004). Religious orientation, aging, and blood pressure reactivity to interpersonal and cognitive stressors. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 28, 171–178.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. McClelland, H. T. (1924). Mysticism and magic. Open Court, 38, 310–320.Google Scholar
  44. Meisenhelder, J. B., & Chandler, E. N. (2001). Frequency of prayer and functional health in Presbyterian pastors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40, 323–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Miller, W. R., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. American Psychologist, 58, 24–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Mills, P. J. (2003). Spirituality, religiousness, and health: From research to practice. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Neter, J., Wasserman, W., & Kutner, M. H. (1990). Multicollinearity diagnostics—Variance inflation factor. In Applied linear statistical models (3rd ed., pp. 407–411). Boston, MA: Irwin.Google Scholar
  48. Noethe, J. B. (2001). Bridging the gap: An empirically-supported phenomenological study of environmental living. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences & Engineering, 61, 7B.Google Scholar
  49. Otto, R. (1928). The idea of the holly: An inquiry into the non-rational faction in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Oxman, T. E., Freeman, D. H., & Manheimer, E. D. (1995). Lack of social participation or religious strength and comfort as risk factors for death after cardiac surgery in the elderly. Psychosomatic Medicine, 57, 5–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., Tarakeshwar, N., & Hahn, J. (2001). Religious struggle as a predictor of mortality among medically ill elderly patients: A 2-year longitudinal study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 1881–1885.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. (1998). Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 710–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: American Psychological Association & Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Pew Forum. (2008). U.S. religious landscape survey. Retrieved April 21, 2008 from http://religions.pewforum.org.
  55. Pignay-Demaria, V., Lesperance, F., Demaria, R. G., Frasure-Smith, N., & Perrault, L. P. (2003). Depression and anxiety and outcomes of coronary artery bypass surgery. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 75, 314–321.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Powell, L. H., Shahabi, L., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. American Psychologist, 58, 36–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Roof, W. C. (1999). Spiritual markerplace: Baby boomers and the remaking of American Religion. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Samuels, P. A., & Lester, D. (1985). A preliminary investigation of emotions experienced toward God by Catholic nuns and priests. Psychological Reports, 56, 706.Google Scholar
  59. Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (1985). Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies. Health Psychology, 4, 219–247.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Schweitzer, A. (1965). In T. Kirman (Ed.), Reverence for life. New York: Philosophical Library.Google Scholar
  61. Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J. R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., et al. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 570–585.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Spinoza, B. (1677/2000). In G. H. R. Parkinson (Trans.), Ethics (Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Thombs, B. D., de Jonge, P., Coyne, J. C., et al. (2008). Depression screening and patient outcomes in cardiovascular care: A systematic review. JAMA, 300, 2161–2171.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Tix, A. P., & Frazier, P. A. (1998). The use of religious coping during stressful life events: Main effects, moderation, and mediation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 411–422.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Wallston, K. A., Wallston, B. S., & DeVellis, R. (1978). Development of the multidimensional health locus of control (MHLC) scales. Health Education Monographs, 6, 160–170.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Wills, T. A. (1996). Modes and families of coping: An analysis of downward comparison in the structure of other cognitive and behavioral mechanisms. In B. P. Buunk & F. X. Gibbons (Eds.), Health, coping, and well-being. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  68. Wink, P., & Dillon, M. (2003). Religiousness, spirituality, and psychosocial functioning in late adulthood: Findings from a longitudinal study. Psychology and Aging, 18, 916–924.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Wink, P., Dillon, M., & Prettyman, A. (2007). The relation between religiousness, spiritual seeking and authoritarianism: Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 46, 321–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Wink, P., & Scott, J. (2005). Does religiousness buffer against the fear of death and dying in late adulthood? Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 60B, P207–P214.Google Scholar
  71. Woodruff, P. (2001). Reverence: Renewing a forgotten virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Zimet, G. D., Powell, S. S., Farley, G. K., Werkman, S., & Berkoff, K. A. (1990). Psychometric characteristics of the multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Journal of Personality Assessment, 55, 610–617.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy L. Ai
    • 1
  • Paul Wink
    • 2
  • Terrence N. Tice
    • 3
  • Steven F. Bolling
    • 3
  • Marshall Shearer
    • 3
  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Wellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA
  3. 3.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations