Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, study suggests

Date:
June 28, 2011
Source:
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Summary:
Researchers found that if traumatic brain injury victims feel close to a higher power, it can help them rehabilitate.

Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Ph.D., a recent graduate from Wayne State University, and her mentor, Lisa J. Rapport, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, found that if traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims feel close to a higher power, it can help them rehabilitate. The study was recently published in Rehabilitation Psychology.

Traumatic brain injury is a disruption of normal brain function after a head injury and affects 1.7 million Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those struggling with the long-term effects of TBI are at a heightened risk for mental and physical problems. Such problems can significantly inhibit rehabilitation outcomes and are therefore important to address in the context of rehabilitation efforts. And when TBI leaves people feeling stressed, less satisfied with life and functionally dependent on others, rehabilitation is the only option.

"Among healthy adults, religion and spirituality have shown strong association with improved life satisfaction and physical and mental health outcomes," said Waldron-Perrine. But research about religion's effect on TBI rehabilitation in particular is lacking.

To fill this void, Waldron-Perrine interviewed and completed neuropsychological tests on 88 individuals diagnosed with TBI victims, most of whom were male, African American Christians. Participants also completed a neuropsychological measure of their cognitive abilities. A significant other of each TBI victim also participated and reported on the injured individual's functional status.

Waldron-Perrine found that most participants who reported higher levels of religious well-being (a connection to a higher power) had better emotional and physical rehabilitation outcomes. But public religious activities or practice and existential well-being -- a sense that life has a purpose apart from any religious reference -- did not have such an effect influence on rehabilitation outcome.

This "intriguing" finding, she said, may be due to the fact that TBI victims lack full control of their ability to participate in public religious practice. "They often must rely on others for scheduling and transportation to social events, so their public religious participation does not wholly reflect their true use of religious resources," she said.

As expected on the basis of previous studies, social support was related to positive physical and mental rehabilitation results. This, Waldron-Perrine said, is consistent with other research studies linking religious social support to positive health outcomes in other populations. But even when Waldron-Perrine adjusted for social support, religious well-being still stood as a unique and strong predictor of positive health outcomes in TBI patients.

"Individuals cope with the tools available to them, and perhaps especially for those with limited means and few alternatives, religion can take on great power as a psychosocial resource," Waldron-Perrine said.

Waldron-Perrine's doctoral dissertation, completed in Rapport's lab, was the foundation of this study. Waldron-Perrine is now a post-doctoral fellow at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Health Care System and University of Michigan's Department of Psychiatry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Lisa J. Rapport, Robin A. Hanks, Mark Lumley, Sarah-Jane Meachen, Paul Hubbarth. Religion and spirituality in rehabilitation outcomes among individuals with traumatic brain injury.. Rehabilitation Psychology, 2011; 56 (2): 107 DOI: 10.1037/a0023552

Cite This Page:

Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628095246.htm>.
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. (2011, June 28). Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628095246.htm
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research. "Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628095246.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins