Role of Religiosity in the Lives of the Low-Income Population: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence. Cancer Screening Educational Interventions

07/10/2009

Although there are only a small number of studies focused on the role of baseline religiosity in preventive and treatment-related health services use among low-income individuals, it is important to note that that these studies analyze longitudinal data. This is noteworthy partly because two of the identified studies focus on evaluating the effectiveness of secular educational programs in increasing womens use of breast and cervical cancer screening services over time. These research designs that use random assignment evaluate the effects of the educational intervention and include religiosity measures as control variables because some participants were recruited from churches (Husaini et al., 2001) and because of generally high levels of religiosity in the rural population served by the intervention (Katz, Kauffman, Tatum, & Paskett, 2008). These studies do not examine whether the effects of the intervention differ by participants levels of religiosity or how the intervention may have changed religiosity levels that would influence participation in cancer screening. One reason for these omissions is the high levels of religiosity of both program and control group participants at baseline. The authors speculate that finding no statistically significant effects of church attendance is likely due to the lack of variation in participants religiosity.

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