Nurses are in an excellent position to offer spiritual support to patients—and can do so with the backing of research connecting faith and health! A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that attending religious services can help you live longer.
In a study of 74,534 women from 1996-2012, religious service attendance was associated with lower risk of mortality from all-causes, including cardiovascular and cancer death. Attending >1 time weekly led to a 33% less chance of dying, once a week attendance decreased mortality by 26%, and even some attendance decreased mortality 13%. The effect of religious service attendance was stronger than that of any other form of participation in a social group.
A large European study also found that participation in religious organizations offers health benefits beyond those gained from other forms of social participation. Study authors conclude that religion and spirituality may be an “underappreciated resource” that physicians can explore with patients.
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
Director, Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA