Researchers looking at how adolescents cope with chronic illness have found that a strong sense of spirituality is one of the most important predictors of quality of life. Among 67 young people with inflammatory bowel disease — a condition associated with pain and other serious symptoms — there was a stronger link between spiritual well-being and mental health than amongst healthy adolescents.
The researchers — Michael Yi and Sian Cotton of the University of Cincinnati — defined spirituality as a sense of meaning or purpose in life, or one’s connectedness to the sacred or divine. They are conducting ongoing studies of religious/spiritual coping in adolescents with IBD, asthma and sickle cell disease, and plan to study other age groups as well as doctors’ views on addressing patients’ spiritual needs in clinical settings. ~ Science Daily, Jan 12