According to one article by Darpan Kaur Mohinder Singh and Shaunak Ajinkya, spirituality and religion are important factors in a patient's overall physical, social, and emotional health. Religions often guide patients in making decisions regarding their health and treatment.
In one study, professionals evaluated the relationship between spirituality, mental health, and overall well-being in elderly outpatients. They found that spirituality is significantly related to less depressive symptoms, a better quality of life, and less pain.
But what about chronically ill patients? Many patients in palliative care tend to resort to religion as a source of comfort and as the answer for life, illness, and death. In a study in one particular hospital, most of the HIV/AIDS patients used their religious beliefs to cope with their illness.
So what does this mean for doctors? Some suggest that there should be greater training in medical school when it comes to handling patients with specific religious and cultural beliefs. Others suggest that doctors should suggest alternative therapies to accommodate culture. What do you think?