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Life Satisfaction in Chronic Pain Patients: The Stress-Buffering Role of the Centrality of Religion

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Abstract:

Chronic pain (CP) is a stressful condition that severely impacts individuals’ lives. Researchers have begun to explore the role of religion for CP patients, but the literature is scarce, especially for West European populations. Drawing from the transactional theory of stress, this study examined the associations between the religious meaning system and the life satisfaction for a group of CP patients who were members of a Flemish patients’ association. To take into account the religious landscape of West European countries, the centrality of one's religious meaning system, rather than religious content, was the focus. Results from the questionnaires completed by 207 patients suggest that the centrality of a meaning system is an important factor in the promotion of life satisfaction for this group, above and beyond the influence of several control variables. Furthermore, the centrality of the religious meaning system moderated or buffered the detrimental influence of pain severity on life satisfaction.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2010.01525.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of PsychologyCatholic University of Leuven 2: Department of EducationUniversity of Central Florida

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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