Research Article
Issue Date: March 1997
Published Online: March 01, 1997
Updated: April 30, 2020
Religious Orientation and Pain Management
Author Affiliations
  • Jaclyn Faglie Low, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor and Chair ad Interim, Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, The University of Texas, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, Texas 77555-1028
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Research
Research Article   |   March 01, 1997
Religious Orientation and Pain Management
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1997, Vol. 51, 215-219.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1997, Vol. 51, 215-219.
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Occupational therapists may find pain management less effective than anticipated for the patient’s condition. In exploring additional avenues of relief, it is important to look beyond physical agents. The therapist must sort physical, psychological, and spiritual components of pain to provide appropriate intervention or referral.

The interface between health care and religion is strongest at the point of confrontation with a life-changing event. Literature addressing the relationship between religious orientation and pain perception differentiates among major religions but not among differences in beliefs of diverse denominational groups. Understanding beliefs about pain may be indispensable to its effective management.

Productivity demands necessitate sensitivity to factors other than the physical in order to avoid ineffective treatment. The patient’s beliefs can be explored within the contexts of initial evaluation and the course of treatment. Knowledge of the mechanics of pain and treatment modalities can be augmented by awareness of the influence of beliefs on response to treatment.