Do patients with chronic pain diseases believe in guardian angels: even in a secular society? A cross-sectional study among German patients with chronic diseases

J Relig Health. 2015 Feb;54(1):76-86. doi: 10.1007/s10943-013-9735-9.


We intended to analyze whether patients with chronic diseases believe in guardian angels (GdA) as a coping resource. In a cross-sectional survey, we analyzed data from 576 German patients with chronic diseases (mean age 51.3 ± 15.4 years). We found that 56 % of the patients often or even regularly believed in GdA, with significantly more women than men believing. Particularly interesting was the fact that 38 % of patients who were identified as neither religious nor spiritual (R-S-) believed in GdAs. This belief may indicate that patients are interested in bridging the gap between the concrete struggle to manage illness and non-rational/transcendent realms.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Hope
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Religion*
  • Secularism
  • Sex Factors
  • Spirituality*