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

  • Elizabeth Johnston TaylorEmail author


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.


Health outcomes Religion Spirituality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of NursingLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

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