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Pain, Spirituality, and Meaning Making: What Can We Learn from the Literature?
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 1069 East Meadow Circle, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Ave North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2010; in revised form: 24 December 2010 / Accepted: 30 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
Abstract: Religion and spirituality are two methods of meaning making that impact a person’s ability to cope, tolerate, and accept disease and pain. The biopsychosocial-spiritual model includes the human spirit’s drive toward meaning-making along with personality, mental health, age, sex, social relationships, and reactions to stress. In this review, studies focusing on religion’s and spirituality’s effect upon pain in relationship to physical and mental health, spiritual practices, and the placebo response are examined. The findings suggest that people who are self efficacious and more religiously and spiritually open to seeking a connection to a meaningful spiritual practice and/or the transcendent are more able to tolerate pain.
Keywords: chronic pain; religion; spirituality; meaning-making
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Lysne, C.J.; Wachholtz, A.B. Pain, Spirituality, and Meaning Making: What Can We Learn from the Literature? Religions 2011, 2, 1-16.
Lysne CJ, Wachholtz AB. Pain, Spirituality, and Meaning Making: What Can We Learn from the Literature? Religions. 2011; 2(1):1-16.
Lysne, Carol J.; Wachholtz, Amy B. 2011. "Pain, Spirituality, and Meaning Making: What Can We Learn from the Literature?" Religions 2, no. 1: 1-16.