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Spirituality may help adolescents cope with chronic illness
Date:1/8/2009

ers, patients with IBD were willing to trade more years of their life expectancy or risk a greater chance of death in order to achieve a better state of health."

He adds that researchers also found that one of the most important predictors of poorer overall quality of life was having a poorer sense of spiritual well-being.

Cotton's analysis of the same 155 adolescents focused on the relationships between levels of spiritual well-being and mental health outcomes in the adolescents with IBD as compared to their healthy peers.

Levels of spiritual well-being were similar between adolescents with IBD and healthy peers. In addition, higher levels of spiritual well-being were associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better emotional well-being.

"However, even though both healthy adolescents and those with IBD had relatively high levels of spiritual well-being, the positive association between spiritual well-being and mental health outcomes was stronger in the adolescents with IBD as compared to their healthy peers," Cotton says, noting that this indicates spiritual well-being may play a different role for teens with a chronic illness in terms of impacting their health or helping them cope.

Yi and Cotton decided to study IBD because it affects males and females at similar rates, has a relapsing and reduction course and peaks onset during late adolescence.

"While adolescents with IBD have specific issues that are unique to that group, we feel that these studies help to create a systematic approach to better understanding spirituality and religious coping in pediatric populations," Cotton says. "We felt it was best to examine these issues first in a homogenous population and then determine whether these findings can be generalized in adolescents with other chronic conditions or how they might be different across different illness groups."

Researchers are conducting ongoing studies of religious/spiritual c
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Contact: Katie Pence
katie.pence@uc.edu
513-558-4561
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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