Role of Religiosity in the Lives of the Low-Income Population: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence. Individual Beliefs and Practices

07/10/2009

At the individual level, religious and spiritual beliefs, prayer, and other religious practices are hypothesized to have direct effects on health behaviors, interactions with health providers, attitudes toward treatment preferences, physical symptoms/illnesses, and recovery from or coping with illnesses. Religious beliefs can also indirectly influence health behaviors by influencing stress levels, which in turn can influence health outcomes. In part because of strong religious beliefs, high frequency of prayer in economically vulnerable populations, and that prayer is considered a free resource, one hypothesis advanced at a recent research conference is that there will be stronger effects of religious involvement on health outcomes when economic resources are lower.

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