Handbook of Religion and Health

Handbook of Religion and Health

by Harold G. Koenig
     
 

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What effect does religion have on physical and mental health? In answering this question, this book reviews and discusses research on the relationship between religion and a variety of mental and physical health outcomes, including depression and anxiety; heart disease, stroke, and cancer; and health related behaviors such as smoking and substance abuse. The authors

Overview

What effect does religion have on physical and mental health? In answering this question, this book reviews and discusses research on the relationship between religion and a variety of mental and physical health outcomes, including depression and anxiety; heart disease, stroke, and cancer; and health related behaviors such as smoking and substance abuse. The authors examine the positive and negative effects of religion on health throughout the life span, from childhood to old age. Based on their findings, they build theoretical models illustrating the behavioral, psychological, social, and physiological pathways through which religion may influence health. The authors also review research on the impact of religious affiliation, belief, and practice on the use of health services and compliance with medical treatment. In conclusion, they discuss the clinical relevance of their findings and make recommendations for future research priorities. Offering the first comprehensive examination of its topic, this volume is an indispensable resource for research scientists, health professionals, public policy makers, and anyone interested in the relationship between religion and health.

Editorial Reviews

4 Stars! from Doody
Journal of the American Medical Association
This book provides a fascinating look at the role of religion and the use of health services against the background of the current availability of and access to health care across all segments of society. This analysis suggests that the level of religiousness and an individual's commitment to preventive behaviors and the use of medical services may be a fruitful area of future research....This is an unparalleled resource not only for physicians with an interest in the relationship between religion and health but perhaps even more for those who doubt its significance. All physicians should consider the possibility that something so meaningful to a large number of patients might also be good for their health.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Patricia E. Murphy, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book handles well the daunting task of providing a comprehensive and critical review of the research conducted between 1900 and 2000 that measures the relationship between religion and various mental and physical health outcomes.
Purpose: The purpose is to lay a foundation for the growing focus on medicine that takes into account mind/body/spirit. The critique of research methods and instruments used in the past is a much needed contribution to this area in which there are both excellent and very inadequate studies. The authors' review provides a scientific foundation for understanding how religion might impact health.
Audience: Written for medical researchers, health professionals, and religious professionals, the writing style and organization lends itself well to be used as a handbook to focus on topics of particular interest. The authors are both experts in the field of health and research in the area of religion and health.
Features: The book includes a chart of all the research in the field, organized by health outcome, that includes information about the design of the study and the measures and statistical analyses used along with a score for the quality of the study. It also provides a review of some of the religion/spirituality instruments most frequently used in research.
Assessment: This is an excellent book that can give those who are interested a solid basis for assessing the merit of inclusion of a focus on spirit in the practice of medicine. It provides the researcher a direction that might help avoid pitfalls of the past. The writing is interesting and inviting so that the lay person could also benefit from exploring its contents.
From the Publisher
"This would be an excellent addition to the library of congregations and their clergy, health educators, youth workers, and professional chaplains."—Anglican Theological Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199880669
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/11/2001
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
9 MB

Meet the Author

Harold G. Koenig, M.D., is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University. Michael E. McCullough, Ph.D., is Director of Research at the National Institute for Healthcare Research. David B. Larson, M.D., is President of the National Institute for Healthcare Research.

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