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Spirituality, religion and health: assessing the relationship between spiritual and religious well-being, depression and quality of life in clinical and non-clinical populations

McKenna, Megan (2012) Spirituality, religion and health: assessing the relationship between spiritual and religious well-being, depression and quality of life in clinical and non-clinical populations. York St John University.

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Abstract

Research exploring the association between spirituality, religion and health has grown exponentially over the past few decades with researchers such as Koenig (1997) acknowledging the beneficial impact of spiritual and religious well-being in association with health outcomes. However, the research collated in this area provides conflicting evidence and the majority is derived from clinical populations. In order to attend to this, the present study aimed to further explore the associations between spirituality, religion and health and the differences between participants based on health status; therefore, differences between student and patient populations in spiritual and religious well-being, depression and quality of life were assessed along with the relationships between the variables for each participant group. A total of 101 students and 31 patients were acquired for participation within the study. Significant differences were found between students and patients on existential (EWB) and religious well-being (RWB), depression and quality of life scores. No significant difference was found between students and patients regarding the spiritual well-being (SWB) summative score. With reference to the associations, significant inverse relationships were obtained between SWB and depression scores and EWB and depression scores for the students and between RWB and HADS scores for the patient population. Similarly, a significant positive relationship was also found between EWB and quality of life for the student population. However further relationships between the variables were found to be non-significant. An in-depth discussion of the results in relation to the implications of this research within healthcare is provided, along with recommendations for future subsequent research.

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