Spiritual Coping with Chronic Pain
Item statusRestricted Access
Intro The object of this study was to investigate the relationship between an individual’s spiritual beliefs and how that affected their pain in those with arthritis. It focused mainly on the coping strategies they chose and how their personality influenced this. Method 113 people with various forms of arthritis completed a questionnaire which included scales measuring spiritual perspective (SPS), pain levels and pain interference (BPI), personality factors (Big 5 Domain), coping strategies (CSQ) and religious/spiritual (R/S) coping (RCOPE). The resulting data was then analysed to find any correlations between the variables. Hierarchical multiple regressions were also carried out using the whole population and then only those who completed the RCOPE (n=86) with the aim of finding how the different coping strategies and personality factors affected the pain outcomes. Results Spiritual perspective (SP) correlated with Worst pain (WP) (p≤.05). It also accounted for significant levels of variance in WP and Pain interference (PI) (p≤.05). Despite SP correlating well with R/S coping, neither the positive nor negative R/S coping subscales accounted for any of the variance in pain outcomes. Three of the CSQ coping subscales correlated with pain outcomes: Coping self strategies (CSS), Ignoring sensations (IS) and Catastrophizing (CAT). CSS and CAT both accounted for significant levels of variance in the regression analysis using WP as the dependant variable and including the whole population. CAT was found to have the greatest independent effect upon pain outcomes in all the regression models. The personality factor Emotional stability (ES) correlated negatively with the maladaptive coping mechanisms CAT (r =-.23, p =.02) and Negative R/S coping (r =-.27, p =.01). Discussion Taken together, these results show that spiritual beliefs and practices and different coping strategies can have a positive or negative affect upon the pain process. Personality factors can influence the coping strategies selected, and maladaptive coping strategies are often used concurrently.