A Web-Based Survey of the Relationship Between Buddhist Religious Practices, Health, and Psychological Characteristics: Research Methods and Preliminary Results
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A Web-based survey was conducted to study the religious and health practices, medical history and psychological characteristics among Buddhist practitioners. This report describes the development, advertisement, administration and preliminary results of the survey. Over 1200 Buddhist practitioners responded. Electronic advertisements were the most effective means of recruiting participants. Survey participants were mostly well educated with high incomes and white. Participants engaged in Buddhist practices such as meditation, attending meetings and obtaining instruction from a monk or nun, and practiced healthful behaviors such as regular physical activity and not smoking. Buddhist meditative practice was related to psychological mindfulness and general health.
KeywordsBuddhists Religious practices Survey Health practices Research methods Preliminary results
Research was funded in part by the NAU Intramural Grant Program. Our gratitude to the survey participants. Dr. Wiist, D.H·Sc., is Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University. Dr. Wiist has over 30 years of postdoctoral experience in public health research, teaching and program administration in academia and health agencies. Beginning in about 1988 he has taught graduate courses and seminars on the relationship between religion/spirituality and health. He has received over $4million in grant funds from foundations, local and state governments and universities to conduct research and manage programs in the prevention of drug abuse, youth violence, intimate partner violence, breast and cervical cancer, prostate cancer and developmental-behavioral pediatric assessment, and Buddhism.
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