Religious faith associated with better health outcomes

Nurses equal to docs for many primary care health issues
Nurses equal to docs for many primary care health issues

Las Vegas – Religious patients who are more involved in their faith tend to have a better health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a cross-sectional study suggests.

“Understanding the effect religious identity has on HRQoL may provide an opportunity to positively impact an individuals' deeper psychological processes,” Sabrina Finklea-Strickland, MSN, PHN, FCN, of Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, reported at the AANP 2013 National Conference.

HRQoL scope includes the overall biological, psychological and social well-being of an individual, and is not limited to people who are currently infirmed for a specific illness, she explained.

“Past research has linked places of worship with health promotion and behavior changes,” she said, noting that the “holistic focus” of nursing was an optimal way to design treatment options for members of faith-based communities.

She examined data from the Multi-Religious Identity Measure (MRIM) and the Short Form 12 Version 2 health survey (SF-12v2), where subjects were randomly surveyed while attending services.

The study found that there was a direct correlation between members of faith-based communities who had a higher index of religious identity and health-related quality of life.

Religious identity was defined by affiliation, practices, beliefs and values, and the spiritual experiences of individual members. The study included responses from 100 participants between the ages of 18 and 50.

“Making and promoting health changes through a religious group may provide the ability to positively affect an individual's HRQoL,” she concluded.


References

  1. Finklea-Strickland S. Poster #205. “Effects of Religious Identity on Health Related Quality of Life.” Presented at: American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2013 Meeting. June 19-23. Las Vegas.
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