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October 2021

Religious activity improves life satisfaction for some physicians and older patients

Author(s): Mulligan, T., Gheorghiu, S., ReyesOrtiz, C.

Journal/Book: J Amer Geriat Soc. 1999; 47: 227 East Washington Sq, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 453-455.

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To assess religious perceptions and activities of physicians and older patients and to determine whether religious activities are associated with life satisfaction. DESIGN AND SETTING: A cross-sectional survey of practicing Virginia internists and psychiatrists and hospitalized or institutionalized (nursing home) older adults. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred randomly sampled practicing physicians and 55 hospitalized or institutionalized older patients. METHODS: A mailed survey was used for the physicians and a structured interview for the patients. All subjects provided information pertaining to demographics and life satisfaction using the Life Satisfaction Index (LSI-B). For physicians or patients who engaged in any religious activity, the Intrinsic/Extrinsic Religiosity (I/E-R) scale was used. RESULTS: Of the 100 physicians (49 internists and 51 psychiatrists) who answered the survey (50% response rate), 75% used religious activity as a coping resource (39% somewhat, 36% definitely). There was a positive correlation between intrinsic religious activity (e.g., prayer, Bible reading) and life satisfaction (r = .233, P = .042). Of the 55 patients interviewed, 47 (86%)used religion as a coping resource, and intrinsic religious activity was positively associated with life satisfaction (r = .843, P < .001). Even after controlling for age, gender, health, and marital status, intrinsic religious activity remained a predictor of higher life satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Intrinsic religious activity is associated positively with life satisfaction in physicians and ill older adults.

Note: Article Ayele H, Virginia Commonwealth Univ, Med Coll Virginia, McGuire Dept Vet Affairs Med Ctr, Sect Geriatr, Div Gen Med, 181, Richmond,VA 23249 USA

Keyword(s): religious activity; physicians; older patients; coping mechanism; life satisfaction; HEALTH; DEPRESSION; PRAYER

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