Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1886–1900 | Cite as

Physicians in the USA: Attendance, Beliefs and Patient Interactions

  • Aaron B. FranzenEmail author
Original Paper


While much religion–health research depends on social support explanations, little is known about whether religious support is also a part of clinical interactions. How many physicians include religious/spiritual topics in clinical conversations? What characteristics are related to inclusion or avoidance? Using a national sample (n = 1,144), this study provides an overview of religious beliefs and practices of physicians in the USA and their patient interactions. Physician attendance rates are related to the inclusion of religious/spiritual topics, but the religious/spiritual orientation of physicians more closely relates to religious/spiritual patient interactions. Further, some physician specialties have more religious/spiritual physicians than others, providing additional reason to think religious/spiritual patient conversations are not equally distributed throughout the medical landscape.


Physician beliefs Patient interactions Religiosity Spirituality Role perception 



The author would like to thank Paul Froese for helpful comments during the development of the current project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social WorkHope CollegeHollandUSA

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