Advertisement

Health Outcomes of Religious and Spiritual Belief, Behavior, and Belonging: Implications for Healthcare Professionals

  • Elizabeth Johnston TaylorEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Thousands of empirical studies now document that aspects of religion or spirituality are linked with desirable health outcomes. This chapter provides an overview of how religious or spiritual (R/S) beliefs, behaviors, and belonging to a faith community contribute to health outcomes. When living with a health challenge, individuals often use R/S beliefs to cope with their circumstances. These beliefs can be positive or negative; they also impact healthcare decision-making. R/S behaviors observed to be associated with health outcomes include attendance at religious services and various practices such as prayer and meditation. For those who belong within a faith community, that community may provide social support and informal caregiving. This evidence ought to prompt healthcare professionals to plan and implement care that supports R/S in an ethical manner. Indeed, there is evidence that indicates when healthcare professionals support patient R/S, it is associated with various positive outcomes.

Keywords

Health outcomes Religion Spirituality 

References

  1. 1.
    Koenig HG, King D, Carson VB. Handbook of religion and health. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Koenig HG. Religion, spirituality, and health: the research and clinical implications. ISRN Psychiatry. 2012;2012:278730.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bai M, Lazenby M. A systematic review of associations between spiritual well-being and quality of life at the scale and factor levels in studies among patients with cancer. J Palliat Med. 2015;18(3):286–98.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lin CY, Saffari M, Koenig HG, Pakpour AH. Effects of religiosity and religious coping on medication adherence and quality of life among people with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2017;78:45–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Freitas TH, Hyphantis TN, Andreoulakis E, Quevedo J, Miranda HL, Alves GS, et al. Religious coping and its influence on psychological distress, medication adherence, and quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease. Rev Bras Psiquiatr. 2015;37(3):219–27.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ramirez SP, Macedo DS, Sales PM, Figueiredo SM, Daher EF, Araujo SM, et al. The relationship between religious coping, psychological distress and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. J Psychosom Res. 2012;72(2):129–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Szaflarski M, Ritchey PN, Leonard AC, Mrus JM, Peterman AH, Ellison CG, et al. Modeling the effects of spirituality/religion on patients’ perceptions of living with HIV/AIDS. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21(Suppl 5):S28–38.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Astrow AB, Kwok G, Sharma RK, Fromer N, Sulmasy DP. Spiritual needs and perception of quality of care and satisfaction with care in oncology patients: a multi-cultural assessment. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2018;55:56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Williams JA, Meltzer D, Arora V, Chung G, Curlin FA. Attention to inpatients’ religious and spiritual concerns: predictors and association with patient satisfaction. J Gen Intern Med. 2011;26(11):1265–71.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hodge DR, Sun F, Wolosin RJ. Hospitalized Asian patients and their spiritual needs: developing a model of spiritual care. J Aging Health. 2014;26(3):380–400.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Balboni T, Balboni M, Paulk ME, Phelps A, Wright A, Peteet J, et al. Support of cancer patients’ spiritual needs and associations with medical care costs at the end of life. Cancer. 2011;117(23):5383–91.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Breitbart W, Rosenfeld B, Pessin H, Applebaum A, Kulikowski J, Lichtenthal WG. Meaning-centered group psychotherapy: an effective intervention for improving psychological well-being in patients with advanced cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(7):749–54.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fitchett G, Emanuel L, Handzo G, Boyken L, Wilkie DJ. Care of the human spirit and the role of dignity therapy: a systematic review of dignity therapy research. BMC Palliat Care. 2015;14:8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Charlson ME, Loizzo J, Moadel A, Neale M, Newman C, Olivo E, et al. Contemplative self healing in women breast cancer survivors: a pilot study in underserved minority women shows improvement in quality of life and reduced stress. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014;14:349.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hulett JM, Armer JM. A systematic review of spiritually based interventions and psychoneuroimmunological outcomes in breast cancer survivorship. Integr Cancer Ther. 2016;15:405.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Marchand WR. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. J Psychiatr Pract. 2012;18(4):233–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Levin J. How faith heals: a theoretical model. Explore (NY). 2009;5:77–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Levin J. God, faith, and health: exploring the spirituality-healing connection. New York: Wiley; 2001.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Taylor EJ. Religion: a clinical guide for nurses. New York: Springer; 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Medved Kendrick H. Are religion and spirituality barriers or facilitators to treatment for HIV: a systematic review of the literature. AIDS Care. 2017;29(1):1–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pargament K, Feuille M, Burdzy D. The brief RCOPE: current psychometric status of a short measure of religious coping. Religions. 2011;2(1):51–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Exline JJ, Park CL, Smyth JM, Carey MP. Anger toward God: social-cognitive predictors, prevalence, and links with adjustment to bereavement and cancer. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011;100(1):129–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pargament KI, Ano GG. Spiritual resources and struggles in coping with medical illness. South Med J. 2006;99(10):1161–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    King SD, Fitchett G, Murphy PE, Pargament KI, Martin PJ, Johnson RH, et al. Spiritual or religious struggle in hematopoietic cell transplant survivors. Psycho-Oncology. 2017;26(2):270–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Fitchett G, Winter-Pfandler U, Pargament KI. Struggle with the divine in Swiss patients visited by chaplains: prevalence and correlates. J Health Psychol. 2014;19(8):966–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Magyar-Russell G, Brown IT, Edara IR, Smith MT, Marine JE, Ziegelstein RC. In search of serenity: religious struggle among patients hospitalized for suspected acute coronary syndrome. J Relig Health. 2014;53(2):562–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Watt MH, Wilson SM, Joseph M, Masenga G, MacFarlane JC, Oneko O, et al. Religious coping among women with obstetric fistula in Tanzania. Glob Public Health. 2014;9(5):516–27.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hvidtjorn D, Hjelmborg J, Skytthe A, Christensen K, Hvidt NC. Religiousness and religious coping in a secular society: the gender perspective. J Relig Health. 2014;53(5):1329–41.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Park CL, Wortmann JH, Edmondson D. Religious struggle as a predictor of subsequent mental and physical well-being in advanced heart failure patients. J Behav Med. 2011;34(6):426–36.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pinter B, Hakim M, Seidman DS, Kubba A, Kishen M, Di Carlo C. Religion and family planning. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2016;21(6):486–95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Chakraborty R, El-Jawahri AR, Litzow MR, Syrjala KL, Parnes AD, Hashmi SK. A systematic review of religious beliefs about major end-of-life issues in the five major world religions. Palliat Support Care. 2017;15(5):609–22.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Delgado-Guay MO, Chisholm G, Williams J, Bruera E. The association between religiosity and resuscitation status preference among patients with advanced cancer. Palliat Support Care. 2015;13(5):1435–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Messina E. Beyond the officially sacred, donor and believer: religion and organ transplantation. Transplant Proc. 2015;47(7):2092–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lifford KJ, Witt J, Burton M, Collins K, Caldon L, Edwards A, et al. Understanding older women’s decision making and coping in the context of breast cancer treatment. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2015;15:45.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Geros-Willfond KN, Ivy SS, Montz K, Bohan SE, Torke AM. Religion and spirituality in surrogate decision making for hospitalized older adults. J Relig Health. 2016;55(3):765–77.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Leyva B, Nguyen AB, Allen JD, Taplin SH, Moser RP. Is religiosity associated with cancer screening? Results from a national survey. J Relig Health. 2014;54:998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Van Norman GA. Decisions regarding forgoing life-sustaining treatments. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2017;30(2):211–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Mollica MA, Underwood W 3rd, Homish GG, Homish DL, Orom H. Spirituality is associated with less treatment regret in men with localized prostate cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 2017;26(11):1839–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Noh H, Kwak J. End-of-life decision making for persons with dementia: proxies’ perception of support. Dementia. 2018;17:478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ayeh DD, Tak HJ, Yoon JD, Curlin FA. U.S. physicians’ opinions about accommodating religiously based requests for continued life-sustaining treatment. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2016;51(6):971–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    VanderWeele TJ, Yu J, Cozier YC, Wise L, Argentieri MA, Rosenberg L, et al. Attendance at religious services, prayer, religious coping, and religious/spiritual identity as predictors of all-cause mortality in the Black Women’s Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(7):515–22.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Morton KR, Lee JW, Martin LR. Pathways from religion to health: mediation by psychosocial and lifestyle mechanisms. Psycholog Relig Spiritual. 2017;9(1):106–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ironson G, Kremer H, Lucette A. Relationship between spiritual coping and survival in patients with HIV. J Gen Intern Med. 2016;31(9):1068–76.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Buttle H. Measuring a journey without goal: meditation, spirituality, and physiology. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:891671.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Boccia M, Piccardi L, Guariglia P. The meditative mind: a comprehensive meta-analysis of MRI studies. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:419808.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Roberts L, Ahmed I, Hall S, Davison A. Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(2):Cd000368.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Anderson JW, Nunnelley PA. Private prayer associations with depression, anxiety and other health conditions: an analytical review of clinical studies. Postgrad Med. 2016;128(7):635–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Persynaki A, Karras S, Pichard C. Unraveling the metabolic health benefits of fasting related to religious beliefs: a narrative review. Nutrition. 2017;35:14–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pesut B, Thorne S. From private to public: negotiating professional and personal identities in spiritual care. J Adv Nurs. 2007;58(4):396–403.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Polzer Casarez RL, Engebretson JC. Ethical issues of incorporating spiritual care into clinical practice. J Clin Nurs. 2012;21(15-16):2099–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Post SG, Puchalski CM, Larson DB. Physicians and patient spirituality: professional boundaries, competency, and ethics. Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(7):578–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Pujol N, Jobin G, Beloucif S. ‘Spiritual care is not the hospital’s business’: a qualitative study on the perspectives of patients about the integration of spirituality in healthcare settings. J Med Ethics. 2016;42(11):733–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Taylor EJ. What do I say? Talking with patients about spirituality. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Center PR. The changing global religious landscape. Pew Research Center; 2017. http://www.pewforum.org/2017/04/05/the-changing-global-religious-landscape/.
  55. 55.
    Taylor RJ, Chatters LM, Lincoln K, Woodward AT. Church-based exchanges of informal social support among African Americans. Race Soc Probl. 2017;9(1):53–62.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sun A, Bui Q, Tsoh JY, Gildengorin G, Chan J, Cheng J, et al. Efficacy of a church-based, culturally tailored program to promote completion of advance directives among Asian Americans. J Immigr Minor Health. 2017;19(2):381–91.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Derose KP, Griffin BA, Kanouse DE, Bogart LM, Williams MV, Haas AC, et al. Effects of a pilot church-based intervention to reduce HIV stigma and promote HIV testing among African Americans and Latinos. AIDS Behav. 2016;20(8):1692–705.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Moore EW, Berkley-Patton JY, Berman M, Burleson C, Judah A. Physical health screenings among African-American church and community members. J Relig Health. 2016;55(5):1786–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Powell TW, Herbert A, Ritchwood TD, Latkin CA. “Let me help you help me”: church-based HIV prevention for young black men who have sex with men. AIDS Educ Prev. 2016;28(3):202–15.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Ralston PA, Young-Clark I, Coccia C. The development of health for hearts united: a longitudinal church-based intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk in mid-life and older African Americans. Ethn Dis. 2017;27(1):21–30.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Williams MV, Derose KP, Aunon F, Kanouse DE, Bogart LM, Griffin BA, et al. Church-based HIV screening in racial/ethnic minority communities of California, 2011-2012. Public Health Rep. 2016;131(5):676–84.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Beard M, Chuang E, Haughton J, Arredondo EM. Determinants of implementation effectiveness in a physical activity program for church-going Latinas. Fam Community Health. 2016;39(4):225–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

Personalised recommendations