Religiosity/Spirituality and Pain in Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27705, USA.
Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 05/2005; 193(4):250-7. DOI: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000158375.73779.50
Source: PubMed


Religion/spirituality has been identified by individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) as an important factor in coping with stress and in determining quality of life. Research has demonstrated positive associations between religiosity/spirituality and better physical and mental health outcomes. However, few studies have examined the influence religiosity/spirituality has on the experience of pain in chronically ill patients. Our aim was to examine three domains of religiosity/spirituality (church attendance, prayer/Bible study, intrinsic religiosity) and evaluate their association with measures of pain. We studied a consecutive sample of 50 SCD outpatients and found that church attendance was significantly associated with measures of pain. Attending church once or more per week was associated with the lowest scores on pain measures. These findings were maintained after controlling for age, gender, and disease severity. Prayer/Bible study and intrinsic religiosity were not significantly related to pain in our study. Positive associations are consistent with recent literature, but our results expose new aspects of the relationship for African American patients. We conclude that religious involvement likely plays a significant role in modulating the pain experience of African American patients with SCD and may be an important factor for future study in other populations of chronically ill pain sufferers.

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    • "Furthermore, previous research among older patients with chronic, non-cancer pain have listed analgesic medication (78%), exercise (35%), cognitive methods (37%), religious activities (21%) and activity restriction (20%) as the most common coping strategies [17]. In one small, uncontrolled study among patients with chronic pain secondary to sickle cell disease, church attendance was significantly associated with pain reduction [18]. Private religious activity (prayer/bible study) did, however, not show the same association. "
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    ABSTRACT: Religious belief can be used as a pain coping strategy. Our purpose was to evaluate the relationship between headache and religious activity using prospective data from a large population-based study. This longitudinal cohort study used data from two consecutive surveys in the Nord-Tr[latin small letter o with stroke]ndelag Health Survey (HUNT 2 and 3) performed in 1995-1997; and 2006-2008. Among the 51,383 participants aged >= 20 years who answered headache questions at baseline, 41,766 were eligible approximately 11 years later. Of these, 25,177 (60%) completed the question in HUNT 3 regarding religious activity. Frequent religious attendees (fRA) (used as a marker of stronger religious belief than average) were defined as those who had been to church/prayer house at least once monthly during the last six months. In the multivariate analyses, adjusting for known potential confounders, individuals with headache 1-14 days/month in HUNT 2 were more likely to be fRA 11 years later than headache-free individuals. Migraine at baseline predisposed more strongly to fRA at follow-up (OR = 1.25; 95% CI 1.19-1.40) than did non-migrainous headache (OR = 1.13; 95% 1.04-1.23). The odds of being fRA was 48% increased (OR 1.48; 95% 1.19-1.83) among those with migraine 7-14 days/month at baseline compared to subjects without headache. In contrast, headache status at baseline did not influence the odds of being frequent visitors of concerts, cinema and/or theatre at follow-up 11 years later. In this prospective study, headache, in particular migraine, at baseline slightly increased the odds of being fRA 11 years later.
    The Journal of Headache and Pain 01/2014; 15(1):1. DOI:10.1186/1129-2377-15-1 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "NOR and IR were not correlated with pain measures in this population. However, those who reported attending church services at least once per week experienced significantly lower pain intensity (Harrison et al., 2005). In another study (Baetz & Bowen, 2008) using the Canadian Community Health Survey 2002 with a sample size of 37,000 people aged 15 and older (mean age = 44 ± 3.5), both religious attendance and intrinsic religiosity were found important on managing chronic pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on the identification of multiple latent trajectories of pain intensity, and it examines how religiousness is related to different classes of pain trajectory. Participants were 720 community-dwelling older adults who were interviewed at four time points over a 3-year period. Overall, intensity of pain decreased over 3 years. Analysis using latent growth mixture modeling (GMM) identified three classes of pain: (1) increasing (n = 47); (2) consistently unchanging (n = 292); and (3) decreasing (n = 381). Higher levels of intrinsic religiousness (IR) at baseline were associated with higher levels of pain at baseline, although it attenuated the slope of pain trajectories in the increasing pain group. Higher service attendance at baseline was associated with a higher probability of being in the decreasing pain group. The increasing pain group and the consistently unchanging group reported more negative physical and mental health outcomes than the decreasing pain group.
    Research on Aging 11/2013; 35(6). DOI:10.1177/0164027512456402 · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Religiosity and spirituality are associated with lower mortality risk (Ellison et al., 2000) and with better management of symptoms (Harrison et al., 2005) among African Americans. Scholars have suggested that these positive health outcomes are the results of religion and spirituality's impact in shaping health practices, coping, and health beliefs. "
    APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, & Spirituality Vol. 1, 01/2013: chapter Faith and the Sacred in African American Life: pages 547-564;
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