Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Religious Cancer Patient Feels Enhanced Health: Study

A new analysis says those cancer patients who are of religious or spiritual nature suffers fewer physical symptoms compared to those who are not.
The connection has been earlier too found by several other studies. However, those varied in many ways.

“When we took a closer look, we found that patients with stronger spiritual well-being, more benign images of God (such as perceptions of a benevolent rather than an angry or distant God), or stronger beliefs (such as convictions that a personal God can be called upon for assistance) reported better social health,” one of the study authors Allen Sherman, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said in the news release.

Heather Jim of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, said the cancer patients should not be pressurized to follow any spiritual or religious beliefs even though data reveals religion or spirituality is linked to better perceived health. She added further that cancer patient even without following any religious or spiritual beliefs can experience good health.

In the new study more than 44,000 people suffering from cancer were analyzed. Higher religious or spirituality patient were found to have overall better health.
Senior author of the analysis for both physical as well as social health John M. Salsman said spirituality and religiousness are multidimensional.

Salsman is presently at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but he had conducted the study when he was with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

He said most of the religions conduct group meetings and those carry social element too, and this may explain the link with social health. However, he is not aware whether spirituality or religiousness causes symptom relief.

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