Religious coping (RC) is defined as the use of behavioral and cognitive techniques in stressful life events in a multidimensional construct with positive and negative effects on outcomes, while religiosity is considered a use of individual beliefs, values, practices, and rituals related to faith. There is no evidence for the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in RC and religiosity in patients with COPD. The aims of this study were 1) to compare RC and religiosity in patients with COPD following PR and 2) to investigate associations between changes in RC, religiosity and exercise capacity, quality of life (QoL), anxiety, depression, and dyspnea.
Seventy-four patients were enrolled in this study including 38 patients in the PR group and 36 patients in the control group. PR protocol was composed of a 12-week (three sessions per week, 60 min per day) outpatient comprehensive program, and the control group was composed of patients in a waiting list for admission to PR program. RC, religiosity, exercise capacity, QoL, anxiety, depression, and dyspnea were measured before and after the study protocol.
Positive religious coping and organizational religious activities increased (p=0.01; p<0.001, respectively), while negative religious coping decreased (p=0.03) after 12 weeks in the PR group (p<0.001). Significant associations were observed between changes in RC, organizational religiosity with exercise capacity, and QoL following PR. No differences were found in the control group.
PR improves RC and organizational religiosity in patients with COPD, and these improvements are related to increases in exercise capacity and QoL.