Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 513–526 | Cite as

Religious and Non-Religious Coping in Lung Transplant Candidates: Does Adding God to the Picture Tell Us More?

  • Eileen J. Burker
  • Donna M. Evon
  • Jan A. Sedway
  • Thomas Egan

Individuals use many non-religious coping (NRC) and religious coping (RC) strategies to cope with stress. In previous studies with lung transplant candidates, we found that NRC and RC predicted depression, anxiety, and disability. The present study aimed to (a) assess whether RC and NRC contributed uniquely to the prediction of distress and disability, or whether they were redundant and offered no additional information, and (b) evaluate the unique contribution of each subscale to determine the strongest associations with outcomes. Participants were 81 patients with end-stage lung disease being evaluated for lung transplant. Our findings suggest that RC and NRC are not functionally redundant. The best RC predictor was reappraising the situation as a punishment from God, and the best NRC predictors were mental disengagement and denial. Our findings suggest that NRC and RC are independent components of psychological functioning, and measuring both coping styles provides more information than studying each alone.


coping religious coping depression anxiety disability lung transplant 



This research was supported in part by grants from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Fetzer Institute. We wish to acknowledge Beth Parker Yeatts for data collection and scoring and Cathy Zimmer for statistical support. We want to thank the reviewers of this manuscript for their time and very helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen J. Burker
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Donna M. Evon
    • 3
  • Jan A. Sedway
    • 2
  • Thomas Egan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Allied Health Sciences, Medical School Wing EUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of Allied Health Sciences, CB#7205, Medical School Wing EUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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