• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

Religion and Spinal Cord Injury

Do religion and spirituality help to cope with depression and anxiety after SCI?

Author of summary: Jamie Lisson (Swiss Paraplegic Research)

Original article: Rahnama P, Javidan AN, Saberi H, Montazeri A, Tavakkoli S, Pakpour AH, Hajiaghababaei M. Does religious coping and spirituality have a moderating role on depression and anxiety in patients with spinal cord injury? A study from Iran. Spinal Cord. 2015 Dec;53(12):870-4. Full text: http://www.nature.com/articles/sc2015102.

Tehran, Iran

Depression and anxiety can be important psychological side effects when experiencing spinal cord injury (SCI). This study revealed that religion and spiritual well-being may have a moderating role on the occurrence of depression and anxiety in people with SCI.

What was the aim of the study?

The goal of this study was to examine the level of anxiety and depression among people with SCI in relation with their religious coping and spiritual health. Furthermore, the researchers checked whether demographic and injury-related characteristics of the participants were related to anxiety or depression.

Iranian mosque

How did the researchers proceed?

The researchers assessed 213 adult patients (165 men and 48 women) with SCI who attended the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Repair Research Center in Tehran, Iran. Their mean age was 33.7 years. The participants completed four questionnaires:

  • A questionnaire to collect demographic data (age, gender, education, marital and employment status) and injury-related information (time since injury, complete/incomplete SCI).
  • The Brief Religious Coping Questionnaire, in order to assess their use of positive or negative religious coping. Positive religious coping was defined as having “a secure relationship with a transcendent force”, whereas negative religious coping reflects “underlying struggles within oneself, with others and with the divine” (both citations from the original scientific article).
  • The Spiritual Well-Being Scale, in order to evaluate religious well-being and existential well-being. Religious well-being refers to “one's relationship with God”. Existential well-being, instead, refers to “one's sense of life purpose and life satisfaction” (both citations from the original scientific article).
  • The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, in order to evaluate anxiety and depression.

 The researchers used statistical analyses – so-called multiple logistic regressions – to examine the responses of the participants.

Iranian people participating in a religious gathering

What did the researchers discover? 

30% of the participants reported having severe anxiety and 15% reported having severe depression. The researchers found that women and unemployed people had a significantly higher risk of anxiety. Besides, negative religious coping and lower score in existential spiritual well-being were significant contributing factors to both anxiety and depression.

What do these findings mean?

The participants who reported higher existential spiritual well-being experienced less anxiety and depression, while higher degree of negative religious coping increased the risk of anxiety and depression. This indicates that religion and spiritual well-being may have a moderating role on the experience of depression and anxiety in people with SCI.

Who conducted the study?

The study was conducted at the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Repair Research Center within the Neuroscience Institute of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran.

Comments (0)

There are no comments on this topic yet.
Be the first to comment!
Most Recent Answers
4472 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
4276 Wheelie
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
5 Johannes 2018-03-12
Ask the Expert
Most Recent Answers
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-07-20
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-05-07

Most Recent Blog Posts
Sorli 2020-01-13 In News
Robot caregivers
Will robots take care of us in the future?
kitwan 2019-12-20 In News
The Community excursion at Swiss Handicap 2019
Exploring the national fair for people with disabilities
Accessible ski holiday in the heart of Switzerland
Find the best sit-ski holiday in one of Switzerland’s most beautiful regions
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
What are contractures and how do they develop? Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently...
In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2020-01-20 In Latest
America first: accessible scooter rental service
Sharing is caring. Recently, Oakland has become the first city in the US to offer a e-scooter-sharing service for people with disabilities. Watch here. The new e-scooter-sharing service is provided...
2019-11-19 In Latest
The car-sharing breakthrough for wheelchair users
Soon it won’t be a dream anymore to car-share as a wheelchair user. Recently, the world’s first car-sharing system for wheelchair users called “WheeM-i” has been showcased at the GITEX Technology...
2019-10-24 In Latest
Free Tickets to Swiss Handicap 2019
Swiss Handicap will take place again in Lucerne this year on 29th and 30th November with the theme “work”. Over 100 exhibitors will gather at this unique national trade fair to promote independence...


Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

Be part of the Community – sign up now!