Religiousness and headache: Is there a relation? Results from a representative sample of adults living in a low-income community
Lucchetti, Alessandra L. G.
Prieto Peres, Mario F. [UNIFESP]
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Background the use of religious behaviors to alleviate the consequences of stressful life circumstances is a frequent strategy employed by pain sufferers. Specifically in the field of headache research, to date, few studies have assessed spiritual and religious beliefs.Objective the objective of this article is to investigate the relation between religiousness (organizational, non-organizational and intrinsic) and headache disorders in a representative sample of adults living in a low-income community.Methods This was a cross-sectional, population-based study. in 2005, we conducted door-to-door interviews with 439 people, aged more than 18 years, randomly selected from a low-income community in Brazil. Four regression models were created to explain the relationships between religious involvement and headache, controlling for demographics, depression/anxiety and alcohol use and smoking.Results of the 439 households contacted, at least one member from 383 (87.2%) households participated. We interviewed more women (74.4%) and more subjects aged 18-39 years. the mean age was 41.7 (SD 8.5) years. Bivariate analysis shows that high religious attendance, non-organizational religiousness and intrinsic religiousness were associated with presence of headache and presence of migraine. After the logistic regression models, only high non-organizational religiousness remained associated with presence of headache (odds ratio (OR): 1.22 (1.01-1.49)). All other religious variables were unrelated to the presence of headache and its types.Conclusion There is a modest relationship between high non-organizational religiousness and presence of headache. Headache sufferers may use coping strategies such as private religious behaviors to try to overcome suffering.
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