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


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.

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Correspondence to Amy B. Wachholtz.

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Wachholtz, A.B., Pearce, M.J. Does spirituality as a coping mechanism help or hinder coping with chronic pain?. Current Science Inc 13, 127–132 (2009).

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  • Chronic Pain
  • Religious Coping
  • Chronic Pain Patient
  • Spiritual Belief
  • Spiritual Practice