The Moderating Effect of Religious Involvement on the Relationship Between PTSD Symptoms and Physical Pain in U.S. Veterans and Active Duty Military

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity and pain is well known in veterans and active duty military (V/ADM). This study examines the buffering effect of religiosity on that relationship. A multisite study was conducted involving 585 V/ADM from across the United States. Multidimensional measures of religiosity, PTSD symptoms, depression/anxiety were administered, along with physical pain on a 0 to 10 visual analog scale. Bivariate and multivariate relationships were examined, along with the moderating effects of religiosity. PTSD symptoms were significantly related to pain level (r = 0.44), a relationship that was only slightly weaker among highly religious (r = 0.34) vs. nonhighly religious (r = 0.48). In multivariate analyses, the interaction between religiosity and PTSD severity on pain was not significant, although stratified analyses indicated a somewhat weaker relationship between PTSD severity and pain in the highly religious (B = 0.03, SE =0.01, t = 2.28, p = 0.02) compared to those who were not (B = 0.06, SE =0.01, t = 6.55, p < 0.0001). Likewise, effects of pain on PTSD symptoms appeared weaker in the highly religious (B = 0.67, SE =0.37, t = 1.80, p = 0.07) compared to others (B = 1.32, SE =0.25, t = 5.34, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study provides only minimal evidence that high religious involvement may buffer the effects of PTSD symptoms on pain and vice-versa.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lea, CR; Oliver, RJP; Smothers, Z; Boucher, NA; Youssef, NA; Ames, D; Volk, F; Teng, EJ; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • July 3, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 327 - 335

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2163-5803

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2163-5781

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/21635781.2018.1526149

Citation Source

  • Scopus