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chronic illness, coping mechanisms, diabetes, medical treatment, religion, well-being



  1. Dehning, Doug O.
  2. Nelson, Lindsay A.
  3. Stewart, Jeanette A.
  4. Stewart, William C.


ABSTRACT: The purpose of this survey was to evaluate the impact of patients' depth of religious adherence on their outlook toward their disease and treatment. A 15-question survey assessing self-reported level of basic practices of the Christian faith, sense of personal well-being, and attitude toward diabetic treatment was distributed to consecutive patients with diabetes at an ophthalmology clinic in Missouri. Christian patients were chosen because they represent one important end of the spectrum of religious belief in U.S. culture and the majority of patients in the clinic. Of 299 patients, the more adherent a patient was to faith-based activities or demonstrated knowledge of basic dogma, the greater their sense of well-being (p < 0.001), suggesting Christian religion/spirituality may be a positive coping mechanism for diabetic patients.