(1992). Surveys show that people would like to be able to talk about matters of faith in psychological treatment. The Breast Cancer Journal, 7, 345-353. The health savings value of religious practice in 2012 was around $115.5 billion, according to Rodney Stark, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Baylor University researcher.1), Good mental health is highly correlated to religious participation.2) An increase in religious practice was associated with having greater hope and a greater sense of purpose in life.3) A systemic literature review of 99 studies found “some positive association…between religious involvement and greater happiness, life satisfaction, morale, positive affect, or some other measure of well-being” 81 percent of the time. the “Birds of a Feather” concept) without a clear answer... Conceptualizing Spirituality and Religion and Methodological Considerations. Asgary, S., Aghaei, F., Naderi, G.A., Kelishadi, R., Gharipour, M. & Azali, S. (2000). One study found that people were much more inclined to use positive coping responses when they received spiritual support from fellow church members.22) When like-minded individuals and families joined together in prayer, mutual support, or religious practice, they viewed their circumstances with spiritual significance: not only mundane daily affairs, but also major life traumas.23) In a study of high-school students from West Virginia, the “ego strengths of hope, will, purpose, fidelity, love, and care” increased as the students lived out their religious beliefs more intently.24), Thus, involvement in religious practice, religious organizations, and religious communities tends to lead to favorable self-image and to foster the development of faith, hope, benevolence, and a belief in divine grace as personal spiritual resources.25), According to the National Survey of Children's Health, parents whose children attended worship at least weekly report slightly less parenting stress than those parents whose children attended worship less frequently.26) (See Chart Below), Both public and private religious practice protect against depression. A new theoretical model defines the two distinct pathways. Emotions, the way that we feel in a particular moment, are also involved in how we respond to others. Religion exists almost as long as does human kind. 2011. Save Citation »  (Works with EndNote, ProCite, & Reference Manager), Basu-Zharku, I. O. These facets can have a large positive impact on mental health— research suggests that religiosity reduces suicide rates, alcoholism and drug use. Oman, D. & Thorensen, C.E. "Religion … Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 45,198-213. Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Though its affect on public health is complex and not always recognized by healthcare professionals. Depressive symptoms and other psychosocial factors as predictors of stroke in the elderly. Demography, 36, 273-285. Because spirituality/religion influence health through these pathways, they act in an indirect way on health (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). Physiology and Behavior, 64, 311-315. Lower lipid peroxide levels in practitioners of the transcendental meditation program. Hormones and Behavior, 10, 54-60. If these other predictors are entered first in a regression equation, they will account for most of the proportion of variance in the health outcome. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 28, 189-213. The relation between religiosity, selected health behaviors, and blood pressure among adult females. Is there, in short, a God dividend? Powell, L.H., Shahabi, L. & Thorensen, C.E. Contextually, Islam, and indeed all other religions, identify compassion and mercy as fundamental parts of doctrine, and can be used to re-frame discussions and actions on health that are compatible with religion. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161, 1881-1885. This developing identification has created a void as people move away from the traditional, established symbols and maps of meaning. This would help professionals release the old stereotypes and prejudices that they have about this topic. Steffen, P.R., Hinderliter, A.L., Blumenthal, J.A. Learn more | Blog | Submit. But when people convert to other religions, they tend to change. Spiritual expression and immune status in women with metastatic breast cancer: An explanatory study. Ironson, G., Solomon, G.F., Balbin, E.G., O'Cleirigh, C., George, A., Kumar, M., Larson, D. & Woods, T.E. Journal of Health Psychology ,8, 223-229. Furthermore, religion can affect policy, a prime example arising in the Philippines, where provision of reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception was hampered by the Catholic Church. Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. The birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha are the three most commonly recognized festivals for feasting, resting from work, or fasting. But why is the religion so important to so many people? However, a major problem in the study of the relationship between spirituality/religion and health is that randomization is very hard to do, sometimes even impossible. Health Psychology, 19, 211-222. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 24, 42-49. Preventive Medicine, 27, 545-552. Pargament, I., Koenig, H.G., Tarakeshwar, N. & Hahn, J. Most do not eat meat and abstain from all beef products. When making decisions, a person must rationally analyze their options and understand potential outcomes. Jevning, R., Wilson, A.F. Religiosity is associated with affective and immune status in symnptomatic HIV-infected gay men. (2002). All three conditions share some common features, one of the most observed... Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue that results in social, psychological, emotional, and physical consequences. Psychological investment in religion and its associations with longevity in the Terman sample. In healthcare literature religion and spirituality are most of the time used interchangeably, although they have quite different meanings (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). 2011. The Connections Betweens Our Beliefs and Our Overall Health In a nutshell, being religious is strongly associated with better overall mental health and well-being. Religion’s influence on patient care is expressed in prayer requests, in clinician-chaplain collaborations, and through health care organizations’ religious accommodations for patients and staff. BMC Public Health, 3. Religion, belief and culture should be recognized as potential sources of moral purpose and personal strength in healthcare, enhancing the welfare of both clinicians and patients amidst the experience of ill-health, healing, suffering and dying. McCullough, M.E., Hoyt, W.T., Larson, D.B., Koenig, H.G. A vast literature suggests that people who are more deeply involved in religion tend to enjoy better physical and mental health. Conceptualising spirituality and religion for healthcare. Religion can serve as a source of comfort and strength when people are under stress. & Ellison, C.G. & Ostfeld, A.M. (1992). Religion can create many communities by sharing the same faiths, beliefs and values; however community has numerous associations depending on how it is used and in what context. (2001). & Spiegel, D. (2001). A randomized controlled trial of stress reduction for hypertension in older African Americans. These negative thoughts associated with religion can be linked to higher rates of depression and lower quality of life. While in other cultures, typically collectivist, these negative outcomes aren’t seen.... Research has shown that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shares similar genetic roots with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There is increasing recognition within contemporary western medicine of the significant links between spirituality/religion and health, and the need for health professionals to understand their patients’ spiritual/religious beliefs and practices. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 46, 165-176. match them for age, gender, SES etc.). Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 3.01 (2011). Religion and Mental Health . This review also found that 87 percent of the studies surveyed concluded that religious practice correlated with reduced incidence of suicide.27) According to Tyler J. VanderWeele et al of Harvard University, women aged 30 to 55 years who attended religious services at least weekly had a five-fold lower rate of suicide than those who never attended.28) A 2016 analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study29) by Harvard researchers showed that women who attended religious services weekly or more were less likely to become depressed. In addition, the existing and growing literature on the benefits of religion/spirituality should be more thoroughly explored and research on the theme should be encouraged. Religion is not only “researchable,” but it is also of essential interest to clinicians, doctors, patients and health psychologists. Infante, J.R., Peran, F., Martinez, M., Roldan, A., Poyatos, R. Ruiz, C., Garrido, S. & Garrido, F. (1998). ‘Does religion cause health? Progressive multivariate adjustments were done for age, gender, sociodemographic variables, health status, social connnections and health behaviors, and the analyses showed that healthy lifestyle behaviors represent the major pathway through which religious involvement influences health but that it does not explain all the influence. Oman, D. & Reed, D. (1998). Seeman, T. E., Fagan-Dubin, L. & Seeman, M. (2003). Then when the spirituality/religion predictor is entered, it might show a significant increase in the proportion of variance. Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. While studies have linked Medical Debt to decreased savings, reduced health access, foreclosure of homes, and loss of income, there has been little to no research exploring Medical Debt’s effect as a social determinant of health. The amassed research indicates that higher levels of religious belief and practice (known in social science as " religiosity ") is associated with better mental health. American Psychologist, 58, 24-35. How Do Spirituality and Religion Influence Health? Religious belief impacts human health in a variety of ways, from blood pressure to psychological well-being. Does devoutness delay death? The main purpose of any fast is spiritual cleansing. Religious involvement and U.S. adult mortality. Scheider, R.H., Staggers, F., Alexander, C.N., Sheppard, W., Rainforth, M., Kondwani, K., et al. American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, 884-894. Adolescent Practice of Religious Worship, http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/pdf/crrucs_objective_hope.pdf, http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/04/Religion-in-Everyday-Life-FINAL.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-49-51-165.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-34-36-160.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-140.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-141.pdf, 95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice, Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability. (2003). The difficulties of conceptualizing spirituality and religion as related to health have serious methodological consequences. & Cohen, R.D (2002). Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 3 (01), http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=367, BASU-ZHARKU, I. O. Hummer, R.A., Rogers, R.G., Nam, C.B. , Basu-Zharku, Iulia O. - 80% of research on spirituality/religiousness and health focuses on mental health. Finally, the ‘psychobehavioral’ interpretation, stresses that religion can influence health through various psychological conditions such as character, will-power, focused attention or increased motivation beyond pathways such as social support (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). “Regardless of whether the patient has decision making capacity, clinicians should try to determine whether patients’ religious and spiritual beliefs may affect the kind of medical care that is respectful of what is important to the patient as a person,” White said. Disclaimer: content on this website is for informational purposes only. Idler, E.L. & Kasl, S.V. This gap is as great as that between non-smokers and those who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day.40) Among women, attending a religious service more than once a week was linked to a 33 percent lower mortality risk compared to those who never attended religious services.41) Among African–Americans, the benefit of religion to longevity was particularly large. The Ironson-Woods spirituality/religiousness index is associated with long survival, health behaviors, less distress, and low cortisol in people with HIV/AIDS. Patients expect a paternalistic approach-the competent health care professional does not ask patients what they want to do, but tells them what to do. 49) 50), Adolescents whose mothers attended religious services at least weekly displayed better health, greater problem-solving skills, and higher overall satisfaction with their lives, regardless of race, gender, income, or family structure.51), Youth who both attended religious services weekly and rated religion as important in their lives were more likely to eat healthfully, sleep sufficiently, and exercise regularly.52) Young people who both attended religious services weekly and rated religion as important in their lives were less likely to engage in risky behavior, such as drunk driving, riding with drunk drivers, driving without a seatbelt, or engaging in interpersonal violence. In addition, spirituality/religion can mediate the relationship between another variable (e.g., quality of life) and a health outcome (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). In the past two decades, the number of studies devoted to the problem of the influence of religious fasting on health has increased considerably. Of course, a definition for spirituality and religiousness has to be broad enough to include all individuals and applicable to all religious denominations (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). Religious coping, ethnicity, and ambulatory blood pressure. A third interpretation, the ‘superempirical’ or ‘psi’ interpretation, considers that spirituality/religion influence health through superempirical pathways, beyond health behaviors and psychological states. The second type of approach considers that if a predictor (in this case spirituality/religion) is entered after one or more other predictors (e.g., current health condition, gender, socioeconomic status, and diet) and still accounts for additional unique variance in a health outcome, then the relationship between the predictor and the health outcome is not due only to the variance between the health outcome and the other predictors (gender, SES etc.). Religiosity and its relation to blood pressure among selected Kuwaitis. (2011). Effects of Religious Practice on Health. The Influence of Religion on Health. Four most prominent such pathways have been proposed: health behaviors (through prescribing a certain diet and/or discouraging the abuse of alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc., religion can protect and promote a healthy lifestyle), social support (people can experience social contact with co-religionists and have a web of social relations that can help and protect whenever the case), psychological states (religious people can experience a better mental health, more positive psychological states, more optimism and faith, which in turn can lead to a better physical state due to less stress) and ‘psi’ influences (supernatural laws that govern ‘energies’ not currently comprehended by science but possibly understandable at some point by science). Changes in cardiovascular risk factors and hormones during a comprehensive residential three month Kriya yoga training and vegetarian nutrition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 866-882. Both seem to cover the women and avoid unwanted attention. Physiology and Behavior, 50, 543-548. Tuberculosis, malaria, mental illnesses, and especially HIV/AIDS are health issues with which Ethiopia continues to grapple. British Medical Journal, 290, 1103-1106. Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 365-380. © 2020 Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse LLC. (2003). Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Contact. This, in turn, emphasizes the fact that there are multiple interpretations of how spirituality/religion influences health and a number of pathways through which this happens. Buddhist monks fast completely on … Koenig, H.G., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B., Cohen, H.J. Although no two religions hold exactly the same ideology about diet, health, and spiritual wellness , many do embrace similar practices. “Separately, many family members of critically ill patients find solace in their religious or spiritual beliefs and it may be helpful for clinicians to … International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 32, 69-89. "The Influence of Religion on Health." Oman, D., Kurata, J.H., Strawbridge, W.J. Fasting - partial or total abstinence from any rejection or selective rejection of certain foods prohibited on religious grounds. Acta Psychologica Scandinavica: Supplementum, 160, 158-162. ISSN: 2153-5760. Religious worship also increases longevity, improves an individual's chances of recovering from illness, and lessens the incidence of many diseases. Religion is a subject that we encounter daily, either because we follow a specific faith and the rules established by it, or because we meet people who proclaim their faith unabashed, or because we know it is a taboo subject in social conversations. ACTH and β-endorphin in transcendental meditation. There was always some type of religion connected to our kind. Thus, the best approach seems to be a longitudinal, randomized study that can observe the changes over a longer period of time and control for any confounding variables. Religion helps followers engage in healthier lifestyle practices on a daily basis. We used to worship the strong and big animals, natural assurances like lightning storm and fire. Adrenocortical activity during meditation. About The Journal | Submissions American psychologist, 58, 36-52. Hixon, K.A., Gruchow, H.W. Attendance at religious services and mortality in a national sample. (2004). Yet, it is associated with poor mental and behavioral health as well as lower wellbeing and negative relational strategies. Attendance at religious services, interleukin-6, and other biological parameters of immune function in older adults. All rights reserved. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 34-48. : Differing interpretation and diverse meanings. Oman, D. & Thorensen, C.E. The first approach requires that a new factor (in this case spirituality/religion) significantly improves predicting a health outcome, beyond other recognized factors (e.g., family history, gender, socioeconomic status, age, or stress). Religion and Well-being: Assessing the evidence. Schneider, R.H., Nidich, S.I., Salerno, J.W., Sharma, H.M., Robinson, C.E., Nidich, R.J. & Alexander, C.N. Trial of relaxation reducing coronary risk: Four year follow up. Sarri, K.O., Tzanakis, N.E., Linardakis, M.K., Mamalakis, G. D. & Kafatos, A.D. (2003). & Sherwood, A. Religion and mortality among the community-dwelling elderly. Spirituality or religion can be incorporated into healthcare as long as healthcare providers open the channels of communication with their patients. Choral singing is great for health: It engages people mentally and physically. Effect of Buddhist meditation on serum cortisol and total protein levels, blood pressure, pulse rate, lung volume, and reaction time. Al-Kandari, Y.Y. Religion can also influence mental health in both positive and negative ways. The Influence of Religion on Health. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1, 263-283. Previously considered as outside of the sphere of research for the perceived impossibility in using any scientific method to study it, religion is now prominent in scientific studies that investigate its influence on health (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). (1995). & Blazer, D.G. The average life span of religious blacks was 14 years longer than that of their nonreligious peers.42) Among African Americans (aged 18 to 54), those who attended church more than weekly had an even lower mortality risk than those who attended just once a week or not at all.43), An earlier review of 250 epidemiological health research studies found a reduced risk of colitis, different types of cancer, and untimely death among people with higher levels of religious commitment.44) Conversely, at any age, those who did not attend religious services had higher risks of dying from cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases and were more likely to commit suicide, according to an even earlier review by faculty of the John Hopkins University School of Public Health.45) The most significant pathway by which religious practice delivered these longevity benefits was a lifestyle that reduced the risk of mortality from infectious diseases and diabetes by encouraging a support network among family and friends that helped to maintain a pattern of regimented care.46), Religious organization partner with public health institutions and provide health-related services and resources that promote physical and mental well-being.47) According to a 2014 report by Peter J. (1992). Most of the research published has been done on spirituality and/or Eastern religious practices (e.g., meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises) and health. But how much do emotions really weigh... Over 30 million people in the US are plagued by eating disorders (EDs), with at least one ED-related death occurring every 62 minutes. Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal's large database of academic articles is completely free. Indeed, some factors may interact with other variables, such that, for example, the relationship spirituality/religion and a health outcome can be different, depending on the categorical level of another variable (e.g. Available: http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=367. 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Policy:: Privacy Policy:: Contact... conceptualizing spirituality and religion its. And/Or prayer ) and health.Continued on Next Page » & seeman, T. E.,,. Basu-Zharku, Iulia O only “ researchable, ” but it is associated with long,... Worship the strong and big animals, natural assurances like lightning storm and fire, Fielding, B.,,. Might show a significant increase in the service of their health and.! Symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to having a better ability to cope with..