Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Religion and Medicine

There is a recently published article in Archives of Internal Medicine (Arch Intern Med. 2007 Apr 9;167(7):649-54) which surveyed physicians and their impressions of religion and spirituality (R/S) in medicine. Some of the findings include:

63% of (physician) respondents characterize themselves as moderately (27%) or highly (36%) spiritual.

How often does illness increase patient awareness of R/S?

Often/Always 64%, Sometimes 34%

How often have your patients mentioned R/S, God, etc?

Often/Always 25%, Sometimes 51%

Overall how does R/S influence patients' health?

Much/Very Much 56%, Some 35%

Is the R/S influence positive or negative?

Positive 85%

R/S helps patients cope

Often/Always 76%

R/S gives positive hopeful state of mind

Often/Always 74%

Overall, physicians are religious and find that religion and spirituality plays and important and positive role in the health of their patients. I would recommend the article as an insight as to physician attitudes concerning spiritual matters in their own and their patients' lives.

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