Presentation Title

Spirituality as a Buffer Against Depression in Chronically Ill Individuals

Presenter Information

Tobin LittleFollow

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

Spirituality, Depression, Chronic Illness

Biography

Probably the most significant inspiration for this study is my deeply religious upbringing. As someone who has been devoutly religious for my entire life, I am intrigued by the relationship of one’s spirituality to their physical and mental health. As a psychology major with plans to enter Christian ministry, I think it is vital that ministers have the background knowledge to give the congregations under their care helpful and psychologically sound advice. My desire is that this study would be helpful to both ministers and psychologists to address spiritual and psychological needs in their congregants and clients.

Major

Psychology

Advisor for this project

Dr. Penny Koontz

Start Date

18-4-2019 9:15 AM

End Date

18-4-2019 10:30 AM

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine current research surrounding the role of spirituality in the mediation of depression among individuals with chronic illness. Spirituality was broadly defined as general belief in a transcendent, purposeful reality, and spiritual health or well-being was distinguished as a subcategory of spirituality denoting positive ways of thinking about one’s spirituality or religion. A significant negative correlation was consistently found between spiritual well-being and depressive symptoms in chronically ill patients. However, poor methods of spiritual coping (guilt, pain, feelings of inadequacy or loss, etc.) were found to predict the opposite effect. In addition, support was found for the conclusion that while spiritual health may predict lower levels of depression, physical pain due to chronic illness may predict lower levels of spiritual health. Finally, significant differences were found across ethnic and gender lines, with minorities and especially women who were religious tending to show greater differences in depressive symptoms. Based on this review of the current literature, clinical psychologists would do well to assess the spiritual well-being of chronically ill individuals, especially those who are at increased risk for depression. In addition, because spirituality can be an important part of quality of life, palliative care providers should take special care to accommodate the religious needs of their patients. Because of the possible negative correlation between chronic pain and levels of spirituality, further study is needed to confirm or refute this correlation.

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Apr 18th, 9:15 AM Apr 18th, 10:30 AM

Spirituality as a Buffer Against Depression in Chronically Ill Individuals

The purpose of this study was to examine current research surrounding the role of spirituality in the mediation of depression among individuals with chronic illness. Spirituality was broadly defined as general belief in a transcendent, purposeful reality, and spiritual health or well-being was distinguished as a subcategory of spirituality denoting positive ways of thinking about one’s spirituality or religion. A significant negative correlation was consistently found between spiritual well-being and depressive symptoms in chronically ill patients. However, poor methods of spiritual coping (guilt, pain, feelings of inadequacy or loss, etc.) were found to predict the opposite effect. In addition, support was found for the conclusion that while spiritual health may predict lower levels of depression, physical pain due to chronic illness may predict lower levels of spiritual health. Finally, significant differences were found across ethnic and gender lines, with minorities and especially women who were religious tending to show greater differences in depressive symptoms. Based on this review of the current literature, clinical psychologists would do well to assess the spiritual well-being of chronically ill individuals, especially those who are at increased risk for depression. In addition, because spirituality can be an important part of quality of life, palliative care providers should take special care to accommodate the religious needs of their patients. Because of the possible negative correlation between chronic pain and levels of spirituality, further study is needed to confirm or refute this correlation.