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Positive Religious Beliefs Might Help In Coping Through Medical Crisis

A new research suggests that religious faith does help people in coping with their stressful medical experiences like a heart surgery.//

The researchers stated that when people go through a stressful medical event their religious beliefs might help or hinder them psychologically. They explained that patients who tend to take solace from their religious faith for support and comfort appear less stressful than those who are spiritually angry or doubtful.

Presenting the findings of the study at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, in new Orleans, yesterday the 10th August, Amy L. Ai of the University of Washington, Seattle, the studies lead author stated that the findings indicate that professionals in the field of health and mental health should be more attentive to faith factors as they could be an encouraging or motivational means for many recovering patients.

The researchers explained that in their study conducted on 309 cardiac patients, they found that positive religious beliefs and resources had given people a sense of hope and social support. They also but cautioned that on the other hand, negative religious thoughts, struggles, doubt, or any resentment against God, might hinder their recovery.

Ai, said, “These pathways appear to be key in understanding how religious coping styles may be helpful or harmful to a person's ability to handle stressful situations.” They researchers explained that they noticed that the apparent social support and hope arising from spiritual beliefs were linked to less post-op depression and anxiety for patients who used ‘positive religious coping styles’ in their everyday lives. Ai said, “Those who perceive more support at this critical moment may feel more hopeful about their recovery.”

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