Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 333–342 | Cite as

Characteristics of Religious and Spiritual Beliefs of Danish Physicians: And Likelihood of Addressing Religious and Spiritual Issues with Patients

  • Christian Balslev van RandwijkEmail author
  • Tobias Opsahl
  • Elisabeth Assing Hvidt
  • Alex Kappel Kørup
  • Lars Bjerrum
  • Karsten Flemming Thomsen
  • Niels Christian Hvidt
Original Paper


This study investigated the association between physicians’ R/S characteristics and frequency of addressing patients’ R/S issues. Information was obtained through a questionnaire mailed to 1485 Danish physicians (response rate 63%) (42% female). We found significant associations between physicians’ personal R/S and the frequency of addressing R/S issues. Moreover, we identified significant gender differences in most R/S characteristics. However, no differences in frequency of addressing R/S issues were identified across gender. This raises some questions regarding the effects of gender on associations between R/S characteristics and frequency of addressing R/S issues.


Religion Spirituality Physician Gender Secular society 



First, the authors wish to thank Professor Farr A. Curlin for his contribution to this field of research and for the development of the RSMPP on which the NERSH questionnaire and data pool rests. Furthermore, we wish to thank the University of Southern Denmark, The Danish Cancer Society, I. M. Dæhnfeldt’s foundation, The Health Foundation (Helsefonden), Danish College of General practitioners (DSAM), and Academy of Geriatric Cancer Research (AgeCare) with Professor Jørn Herrstedt for supporting this research project. Also, we would like to thank Professor Kim Brixen for his helpful feedback and support, and René dePont Christensen for his inputs on our data analysis. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to our respondents for taking time to answer the questionnaires.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Balslev van Randwijk
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tobias Opsahl
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Assing Hvidt
    • 1
  • Alex Kappel Kørup
    • 1
  • Lars Bjerrum
    • 3
  • Karsten Flemming Thomsen
    • 1
  • Niels Christian Hvidt
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Unit of General PracticeUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.University College CopenhagenCopenhagen VDenmark
  3. 3.Department and Research Unit of General PracticeUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Academy of Geriatric Cancer ResearchOdense University HospitalOdenseDenmark

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