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Research Grants

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Title: Research Grants Author: Daniel Hall Last modified by: Harold Created Date: 3/16/2004 2:41:10 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Research Grants


1
State of the Art in Research on Faith and Health
Harold G. Koenig, MD Departments of Psychiatry
and Medicine Duke University Medical Center GRECC
VA Medical Center
2
Overview
1015-1100
  • Definitions Religion and Spirituality
  • Research on R/S and mental health
  • Research on R/S and health behaviors
  • Research on R/S, physical health, and longevity
  • Understanding the relationship between R/S and
    health
  • Further resources

3
Definitions

4
Religion
Involves beliefs, practices, and rituals related
to the transcendent, where the transcendent is
that which relates to the mystical, supernatural,
or God in Western religious traditions, or to
Divinities, ultimate truth/reality, or
enlightenment in Eastern traditions. Religions
usually have specific beliefs about life after
death and rules about conduct within a social
group. Religion is often organized and practiced
within a community, but it can also be practiced
alone and in private. Central to its definition,
however, is that religion is rooted in an
established tradition that arises out of a group
of people with common beliefs and practices
concerning the transcendent. Religion is a
unique construct, whose definition is generally
agreed upon.
5
Spirituality Spirituality is a concept which
today is viewed as broader and more inclusive
than religion. It is a term more popular today,
more so than religion. Spirituality is considered
personal, something individuals define for
themselves that may be free of the rules,
regulations, and responsibilities associated with
religion. Spirituality is more difficult to
define than religion, and agreement on what the
term means is often lacking especially since
the definition of spirituality has been changing,
and expanding.
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Comments on Measuring Spirituality in Research
(Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2008
196(5)349-355)
  1. Currently, spirituality is either measured as
    (1) religion, (2) positive psychological states,
    or (3) positive character traits
  2. Positive psychological states include having
    purpose and meaning in life, being connected with
    others, experiencing peace, harmony, and
    well-being
  3. Positive character traits include being
    forgiving, grateful, altruistic, or having high
    moral values and standards
  4. Problem Atheists or agnostics may deny any
    connection with spirituality, but rightly claim
    their lives have meaning, purpose, are connected
    to others, practice forgiveness and gratitude,
    are altruistic, have times of great peacefulness,
    and hold high moral values

11
Measuring Spirituality (cont)
  • Problem Confusing to use religious language
    (spirituality or that having to do with the
    spirit) to describe secular psychological terms
  • Problem Can no longer examine relationships
    between spirituality and mental health (since
    spirituality scales confounded by items assessing
    mental health)
  • Problem Can no longer examine relationships
    between spirituality and physical health (since
    mental health affects physical health through the
    mind-body relationship)
  • Problem Can no longer study the negative effects
    of spirituality on health, since positive effects
    are predetermined by the definition of
    spirituality
  • Result
  • Meaningless tautological associations between
    spirituality and health

12
To keep things simple and clear, I use the terms
religion and spirituality interchangeably, or
simply use the word religion When research has
been conducted on religion it has been
distinctive and not confounded with indicators of
positive mental health, as research involving
spirituality has.
13
Research on Religion and Mental Health
  1. Well-being
  2. Depression
  3. Suicide
  4. Anxiety
  5. Substance abuse

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Well-being and Depression (systematic review
1806-2009)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Greater well-being and happiness
  • (278 of 359 studies) (77)
  • Less depression, faster recovery from depression
  • (204 of 324 studies) (63)
  • Sources
  • Handbook of Religion and Health (2001, Oxford
    University Press)
  • Handbook of Religion and Health (2011, 2nd ed,
    OUP)

19
Suicide (systematic review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Less suicide and more negative attitudes toward
    suicide
  • (106 of 141 or 74 of studies)
  • Why?
  • A religious world-view gives people a reason for
    living it gives life meaning.

20
Meaning, Purpose, and Hope (systematic review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Significantly greater meaning and purpose in life
  • (42 of 45 studies) (93)
  • Significantly greater hope
  • (29 of 39 studies) (74)

21
Forgiveness, Altruism, and Gratitude (systematic
review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Significantly more forgiveness
  • (34 of 40 studies) (85)
  • Significantly more altruism / volunteering
  • (33 of 47 studies) (70)
  • Significantly more gratitude
  • (5 of 5 studies) (100)

22
Social Support (systematic review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Great social support
  • (61 of 74 studies) (82)

23
Religion and Health Behaviors
24
Health Behaviors
  • Religion is related to
  • More exercise/physical activity
  • (25 of 37 studies) (68)
  • Less cigarette smoking, especially among the
    young
  • (120 of 134 studies) (90)
  • Less alcohol/drug use, especially among the young
  • (276 of 324 studies) (85)

25
The Mind-Body Relationship
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Religion and Physical Health
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Religion Physiological Functions Immune Endoc
rine Cardiovascular
29
Immune and Endocrine Functions (systematic
review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Better immune functions
  • (19 of 31 studies) (61)
  • Better endocrine functions
  • (21 of 32 studies) (66) (majority involving
    meditation)

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Cardiovascular Functions (systematic review)
  • Religious involvement is related to
  • Lower blood pressure
  • (36 of 62 studies) (58)
  • Less heart disease (CAD, CVR, HRV, CRP, cardiac
    surg, etc.)
  • (35 of 54 studies overall) (65)
  • (10 of 14 studies on CAD) (71)

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  • Mortality (all-cause)
  • (systematic review)
  • Religious involvement related to
  • Greater longevity in 55 of 84 studies (65)
  • Shorter longevity in 2 of 84 studies (2)
  • Mixed findings in 12 of 84 studies (14)

36
Standard Mortality Ratios (ages
25-99) Males Females California Mormons
(n9815) 0.54 (0.51-0.57) 0.61
(0.57-0.65) Attend church wkly (99 M / 99 F)
never smokemarried12 yr ed 0.45
(0.42-0.48) 0.55 (0.51-0.59) moderate BMI (57
M / 65 F) 0.43 (0.39-0.47) 0.52 (0.47-0.57)
Life Expectancy age 25 84 years 86 years US
Whites (n15,832) 0.90 (0.85-0.96) 0.83
(0.79-0.88) Attend church wkly (28 M / 39
F) 0.78 (0.68-0.88) 0.70 (0.62-0.79) never
smoke 0.60 (0.48-0.74) 0.63 (0.55-0.74)
married 0.51 (0.40-0.66) 0.52 (0.42-0.66) 12
yr education 0.47 (0.33-0.64) 0.38
(0.28-0.52) moderate BMI (7 M / 10 F) 0.43
(0.30-0.61) 0.35 (0.24-0.50) Life Expectancy age
25 (US Whites all) 74 years 81 years Life
Expectancy age 25 (extrapolated) 84 years 86
years
Based on a systematic sample of active Calif.
Mormons followed 1980-2004, and random sample
of white US adults followed 1988-1997. Preventive
Medicine 2008 46133-136
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Further Reading
  • Spirituality in Patient Care (2007, Templeton
    Press)
  • Medicine, Religion and Health (2008, Templeton
    Press)
  • Faith and Mental Health (2005, Templeton Press)
  • Handbook of Religion and Health (2001, Oxford
    University Press)
  • Handbook of Religion and Health (2011 Oxford
    University Press)
  • The Link Between Religion and Health (2002,
    Oxford University Press)
  • Further Information
  • Website Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology
    and Health
  • http//www.spiritualityandhealth.duke.edu/

40
Summer Research Workshops July and August
2010 Durham, North Carolina
5-day intensive research workshops focus on what
we know about the relationship between
spirituality and health, applications, how to
conduct research and develop an academic career
in this area (see website http//www.spirituality
healthworkshops.org/). Leading
spirituality-health researchers at Duke and
elsewhere will give presentations -Previous
research on spirituality and health -Strengths
and weaknesses of previous research -Applying
findings to clinical practice -Theological
considerations and concerns -Highest priority
studies for future research -Strengths and
weaknesses of spirituality measures -Designing
different types of research projects -Carrying
out and managing a research project -Writing a
grant to NIH or private foundations -Where to
obtain funding for research in this area -Writing
a research paper for publication getting it
published -Presenting research to professional
and public audiences working with the media If
interested, contact Harold G. Koenig
koenig_at_geri.duke.edu
41
Discussion and Questions
  • 1100 end
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