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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.
Religions 2011, 2(1), 1-16;
Received: 9 October 2010 / Revised: 24 December 2010 / Accepted: 30 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spirituality and Health)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: chronic pain; religion; spirituality; meaning-making chronic pain; religion; spirituality; meaning-making
MDPI and ACS Style

Lysne, C.J.; Wachholtz, A.B. Pain, Spirituality, and Meaning Making: What Can We Learn from the Literature? Religions 2011, 2, 1-16.

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