Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 806–817 | Cite as

Jewish Physicians’ Beliefs and Practices Regarding Religion/Spirituality in the Clinical Encounter

  • Robert M. Stern
  • Kenneth A. Rasinski
  • Farr A. Curlin
Original Paper

Abstract

We used data from a 2003 survey of US physicians to examine differences between Jewish and other religiously affiliated physicians on 4-D of physicians’ beliefs and practices regarding religion and spirituality (R/S) in the clinical encounter. On each dimension, Jewish physicians ascribed less importance to the effect of R/S on health and a lesser role for physicians in addressing R/S issues. These effects were partially mediated by lower levels of religiosity among Jewish physicians and by differences in demographic and practice-level characteristics. The study provides a salient example of how religious affiliation can be an important independent predictor of physicians’ clinically-relevant beliefs and practices.

Keywords

Religion Spirituality Judaism Physician Clinical encounter 

References

  1. Allport, G., & Ross, J. (1967). Personal religious orientation and prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 447–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asch, D. A., Jedrziewski, M. K., & Christakis, N. A. (1997). Response rates to mail surveys published in medical journals. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 50, 1129–1136.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Astrow, A. B., Puchalski, C. M., & Sulmasy, D. P. (2001). Religion, spirituality, and health care: Social, ethical, and practical considerations. American Journal of Medicine, 110, 283–287.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christakis, N. A., & Asch, D. A. (1995). Physician characteristics association with decisions to withdraw life support. American Journal of Public Health, 85(3), 367–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curlin, F. A., Lantos, J. D., Roach, C. J., Sellergren, S. A., & Chin, M. H. (2005). Religious characteristics of US physicians: A national survey. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20, 629–634.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Curlin, F. A., Chin, M. H., Sellergren, S. A., Roach, C. J., & Lantos, J. D. (2006). The association of physicians’ religious characteristics with their attitudes and self-reported behaviors regarding religion and spirituality in the clinical endeavor. Medical Care, 44(5), 446–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Curlin, F. A., Sellergren, S. A., Lantos, J. D., & Chin, M. H. (2007). Physicians’ observations and interpretations of the influence of religion and spirituality on health. Archives of Internal Medicine, 167, 649–654.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Groves, R. M., Fowler, F. J., Couper, M. P., Lepkowski, J. M., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2004). Survey methodology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Hecht, M. L., & Faulkner, S. L. (2000). Sometimes Jewish, sometimes not: the closeting of Jewish American identity. Communication Studies, 51(4), 372–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hill, P. C., & Hood, R. W. (1999). Measures of religiosity. Birmingham, Alabama: Religious Education Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hoge, D. R. (1972). A validated intrinsic religious motivation scale. Journal for the Scientific Study Religion, 11, 369–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Katz, S. T., Biderman, S., & Greenberg, G. (2007). Wrestling with God: Jewish theological responses during and after the holocaust. NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Koenig, H. G. (2000). MSJAMA: Religion, spirituality, and medicine: Application to clinical practice. Journal of the American Medical Association, 284, 1708.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lawrence, R. J. (2002). The witches’ brew of spirituality and medicine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 74–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Medding, P. Y. (1987). Segmented ethnicity and the new Jewish politics. Studies in Contemporary Jewry, 3, 26–45.Google Scholar
  16. Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research: A report of the Fetzer Institute/National Institute on Aging Working Group. (1999). Available at http://www.fetzer.org. Accessed July 28, 2010.
  17. Pembroke, N. F. (2008). Appropriate spiritual care by physicians: A theological perspective. Journal of Religion and Health, 47(4), 549–559.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Presser, S., & Blair, J. (1994). Survey pretesting: Do different methods produce different results? Sociological Methodology, 24, 73–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sarna, J. D. (2004). American Judaism: A history. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Sloan, R. P., Bagiella, E., VandeCreek, L., Hover, M., Casalone, C., Jinpu Hirsch, T., et al. (2000). Should physicians prescribe religious activities? New England Journal of Medicine, 342, 1913–1916.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Wenger, N. S., & Carmel, S. (2004). Physicians’ religiosity and end-of-life care attitudes and behaviors. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine, 71(5), 335–343.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Stern
    • 1
  • Kenneth A. Rasinski
    • 2
  • Farr A. Curlin
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Pritzker School of MedicineThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.MacLean Center for Clinical Medical EthicsThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations