Religious and Spiritual Coping and Quality of Life Among Patients With Emphysema in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Although prior research indicates that religious and spiritual coping is associated with positive health outcomes, few studies have examined religious and spiritual coping among patients with emphysema. OBJECTIVE: To describe the utilization of religious and spiritual coping and its relationship to quality of life among patients with emphysema, in a 2-year longitudinal follow-up study. METHODS: Forty patients with emphysema (mean age 63.5 ± 6.0 y, 8 women) who participated in the National Emphysema Treatment Trial were matched on age, sex, race, and education with 40 healthy individuals recruited from the community. We conducted baseline assessment of overall coping strategies, psychological functioning, quality of life, pulmonary function, and exercise capacity, and we assessed overall coping strategies and religious and spiritual coping at 2-year follow-up. RESULTS: Ninety percent of the patients with emphysema considered themselves at least slightly religious and spiritual. The patients reported using both negative religious coping (eg, questioning God) and positive religious coping (eg, prayer) more than the healthy control subjects at follow-up. However, greater use of religious and spiritual coping was associated with poorer illness-related quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with emphysema appear to use various coping strategies in responding to their illness. Future research should investigate if patients using religious and spiritual coping would benefit from interventions to address emotional distress and reduced quality of life.

Keywords: National Emphysema Treatment Trial; anxiety; coping; depression; emphysema; pulmonary rehabilitations; quality of life; religiosity; spirituality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01105

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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