From “Religious, Spiritual Support Benefits Men And Women Facing Chronic Illness, MU Study Finds” (Medical News Today, 28 Oct 2011), we learn:
“Our findings reinforce the idea that religion/spirituality may help buffer the negative consequences of chronic health conditions,” said Stephanie Reid-Arndt, associate professor of health psychology in the School of Health Professions. “We know that there are many ways of coping with stressful life situations, such as a chronic illness; involvement in religious/spiritual activities can be an effective coping strategy.”
Religious and spiritual support includes care from congregations, spiritual interventions, such as religious counseling and forgiveness practices, and assistance from pastors and hospital chaplains. The recent publication from the MU Center for Religion and the Professions research group, authored by Reid-Arndt, found that religious support is associated with better mental health outcomes for women and with better physical and mental health for men.
Most religious organizations incorporate the fact of suffering into their explanation of life, and plan for it. Suffering may or may not be seen as God’s will, but it is seldom treated as a personal failure or a direct outcome of personal sin.
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