The Role of Religiosity as a Coping Resource for Relatives of Critically Ill Patients in Greece

By Plakas, Sotirios; Boudioni, Markella et al. | Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, August 2011 | Go to article overview

The Role of Religiosity as a Coping Resource for Relatives of Critically Ill Patients in Greece


Plakas, Sotirios, Boudioni, Markella, Fouka, Georgia, Taket, Ann, Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession


ABSTRACT

Critical care hospitalisation is emotionally overwhelming for the relatives of patients. Research has shown that religiosity is an effective coping resource for people with health related problems and has been correlated with better health outcomes. However the processes by which religiosity is utilized and its effects on relatives of critically ill patients have not been adequately explored. This article presents relatives' experiences and processes of religiosity; it is part of a wider grounded theory study on the experiences of critically ill patients' relatives in Greece. Twenty-fi ve relatives of patients in the intensive care units of three public general district hospitals in Athens, Greece, participated in 19 interviews. Religiosity was found to be the main source of hope, strength and courage for relatives and was expressed with church/monastery attendance, belief in God, praying, and performing religious rituals. Health care professionals should pay attention and understand these aspects of coping.

KEYWORDS: experiences; distress; families; coping; religiosity; intensive care unit

INTRODUCTION

Intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalisation causes great emotional distress to relatives in Greece (Plakas, Cant, & Taket, 2009) and internationally (Agard & Harder, 2007; Hughes, Bryan, & Robbins, 2005; Kutash & Northrop, 2007). Two studies conceptualised this emotional state as anticipatory grief (Coulter, 1989; Plakas et al., 2009). Paparrigopoulos et al. (2006) found that relatives of ICU patients in Greece suffered depressive and posttraumatic stress throughout the hospitalisation. Research has identifi ed religiosity to be among relatives' coping resources (Casarini, Gorayeb, & Filho, 2009; Chan & Twinn, 2007; Johansson, Hildingh, & Fridlund, 2002; Koller, 1991; Patel-Chua, 1996). However, very little is known about the ways in which religion helps in coping. This paper addresses that gap by presenting and discussing relatives' experiences of religiosity as a coping mechanism.

BACKGROUND Defi nitions of religiosity and spirituality

Religiosity and spirituality are terms that have been used interchangeably in the literature. However, it has been argued that they were wrongly considered synonymous (Burkhart & Hogan, 2008; Lee & Newberg, 2005). Spirituality is a broad concept encompassing practices, beliefs and attitudes toward mystical forces, or a higher power (Krebs, 2001), personal meanings and explanations (McSherry & Jamieson, 2011) which help to construct a meaning and purpose in life (Burkhart & Hogan, 2008; Yick, 2008), and is not associated necessarily with faith in a 'God'. Religiosity is associated with human expression of the rites and rituals of a particular faith tradition and with a form of God (Burkhart & Hogan, 2008, p. 928) and is limited to those practices, beliefs and attitudes which are part of an organised religious activity (Bjarnason, 2007).

In Christian religion, for example, God is the cosmic life regulator and the centre around which all revolve. As Yick (2008) argues, religiosity can be affected by culture and ethnicity; this might have been the case in Greece, where the culture is interlinked with the Greek Orthodox Christian faith. Christianity fl ourished in Greece nearly 2000 years ago; earlier than many other countries in the world. Greeks carry on a rich Christian Orthodox cultural tradition; there is a close link between religion, national identity and the state. Rosenbaum (1991) studying the health meanings and practices of Greek-Canadian widows observed that religiosity was central in their lives. The signifi - cance of religion and faith to God in Greek life is also evident in the fi ndings of a 2005 survey in 65 countries; Greeks were the most religious people among western Europeans and the eight most devout in the world. Eighty six per cent of Greeks self-defi ned themselves as religious whereas the Western European average was 60% (Voice of the People, 2005). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Religiosity as a Coping Resource for Relatives of Critically Ill Patients in Greece
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.