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Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 89–108 | Cite as

Effect of a Faith-Based Education Program on Self-Assessed Physical, Mental and Spiritual (Religious) Health Parameters

  • Frans J. CronjéEmail author
  • Levenda S. Sommers
  • James K. Faulkner
  • W. A. J. MeintjesEmail author
  • Charles H. Van Wijk
  • Robert P. Turner
Original Paper

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of attending a faith-based education program (FBEP) on self-assessed physical, mental and spiritual health parameters. The study was designed as a prospective, observational, cohort study of individuals attending a 5-day FBEP. Out of 2650 sequential online registrants, those previously unexposed to the FBEP received automated invitations to complete 5 sequential Self-Assessment Questionnaire’s (SAQ’s) containing: (1) Duke University Religion Index (DUREL); (2) Negative Religious Coping (N-RCOPE); (3) Perceived Stress Scale (PSS); (4) Center for Epidemiology and Statistics-Depression Scale (CES-D); (5) Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ); and the (6) State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Pre-attendance SAQ (S1) was repeated immediately post-FBEP (S2), at 30 days (S3), 90 days (S4) and after 1 year (S5). Of 655 invited, 274 (42 %) succeeded, 242 (37 %) failed and 139 (21 %) declined to complete S1. Of the 274, 37 (14 %) were excluded at on-site interview; 26 (9 %) never attended the FBEP (i.e., controls: 5♂; 21♀; 27–76 years); and 211 (77 %) participated (i.e., cases: 105♂; 106♀; 18–84 years) and were analyzed over time: 211 (S1); 192 (S2); 99 (S3); 52 (S4); 51 (S5). IRB approval was via the Human Research Ethics Committee of Stellenbosch University. DUREL showed significant, sustained changes in Intrinsic Religiosity. N-RCOPE showed significant, lasting improvement. In others, median values dropped significantly immediately after the FBEP (S1:S2) for STAI-State p < 0.0001; PSS p < 0.0001; BIPQ p < 0.0001; and CES-D p < 0.0001; and at 1 month (S1:S3) for STAI-Trait p < 0.001; all changes were sustained (S3 through S5). This FBEP produced statistically and clinically significant changes; these lasted in those followed up >1 year.

Keywords

Religion Mental health Spirituality Religion and Medicine Religion and Psychology 

Notes

Source of funding

None. However, two co-authors are employees of Be in Health Inc. Thomaston, GA, USA.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of StellenboschParowSouth Africa
  2. 2.Be in Health IncThomastonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Community Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of StellenboschParowSouth Africa
  4. 4.South African Military Health ServiceInstitute for Maritime MedicineSimon’s TownSouth Africa
  5. 5.Division of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyMUSCCharlestonUSA

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