The purpose of this project was to describe demographic characteristics of patients who may use religion as a coping response to a first-time cardiac event.
Patients (N = 105), who were enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation after a first-time myocardial infarction or coronary artery revascularization bypass surgery, completed the Religious Coping Activities Scale. Independent variables included age, gender, religious affiliation, diagnosis, marital status, and education level. The 6 types of religious coping activities were compared for each level of the independent variables.
Significant differences emerged for gender, religious affiliation, marital status, and level of education. Women scored higher than men on spiritually based activities (T = 1550, P = .03), good deeds (T = 1504, P = .08), and religious avoidance coping (T = 1505, P = .08). Participants who claimed no religious affiliation scored lowest on good deeds (H = 9.7, P = .008) and interpersonal religious support coping (H = 13.4, P = .001) and higher on discontent coping (H = 5.4, P = .07). Single participants scored higher on spiritually based coping than did married participants (T = 1251, P = .04) and lower on discontent coping (H = 4.3, P = .04). Plead coping was an inverse function of education (H = 6.8, P = .08).
Patients beginning cardiac rehabilitation, particularly those with the demographic characteristics discussed in this study, may benefit from assessment of their desire for pastoral intervention.