Is adolescents' religious coping with cystic fibrosis associated with the rate of decline in pulmonary function?-A preliminary study

Daniel H Grossoehme, Rhonda Szczesniak, Gary L McPhail, Michael Seid
Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 2013, 19 (1): 33-42
Religious coping is associated with health outcomes in adolescents with chronic disease. Identifying potentially modifiable spiritual factors is important for improving health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to determine if associations exist between rate of change in pulmonary function and subsequent religious coping by adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF). Retrospective cohort design employing the Brief R-COPE and calculated decline in lung function over a three-year period were utilized. Data were obtained for 28 adolescents; median age 13.5 years. Use of pleading or negative religious coping was associated with a worse clinical trajectory. Pleading may be ineffective as disease progression is modifiable through adherence to evidence-based treatments. Given established relationships of religious coping with general coping, the effects of declining pulmonary function may be broader. Changes in pulmonary function suggest opportunities for chaplains to explore options to cognitively reframe negative religious coping.

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