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Title: A daily process study of prayer as a coping strategy for chronic pain
Author: Patel, Farhana
ISNI:       0000 0001 3475 4896
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2007
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This research was concerned with looking at the relationship between religious coping and chronic pain1 • A substantial body of literature now exists to support a positive role for religiosity and religious coping in relation to health. Prayer represents a form of religious copi..'1g. Much of the existing research has looked at the concept of prayer in a very unidimensional a'd simplistic way. Prayer, as with its parent concept of religiosity however, is a multi-dimensional construct and research has suggested that different prayer types may have a differential impact on health outcome. The primary aim. of the current study was to look at the impact of four prayer types: ritual, intercessory (or petitionary), meditative (or contemplative) and conversational on the perceived pain and distress experienced by people with chronic pain. These prayer types were further categorised in terms of whether they served a primary function of managing distress, i.e. emotion-focussed coping (ritual and intercessory) or of managing the problem causing the distress, i.e. problem-focussed coping (meditative and conversational), with the latter potentially reflecting more adaptive coping. A secondary aim was to assess the impact of an individual's wider religious beliefs, i.e. their specific religious orientation (intrinsic I extrinsic) on the choice of prayer used. Intrinsic orientation was also explored in relation to its· potential overlap with the three themes relevant to Taylor's (1983) model of cognitive adaptation: optimism, control and selfesteem. Twenty-five participants completed a number of standardised measures to include assessments of pain, psychological distress, religious orientation and factors associated with Taylor's model. They also completed a diary three times a day for a period of two weeks, indjcating their levels of pain and distress as well as recording their prayer activities. The study revealed that people used prayer in highly variable and multiple ways. This pattern of use however was not systematically associated with variation in levels of pain and distress either within or between individuals. There was also no clear distinction between L1.e different prayers types on the basis of emotion or problem-focussed coping. The factor of religiosity was not strongly implicated in the way particular prayers were used, but greater intri.'..1sic religiosity was associated with greater control and optimism. The implications of these results are discussed for the literature on religiosity and prayer in chronic illness, models of coping and the importance of future research in this area.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available