Attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of religiosity, spirituality, and cultural competence in the medical profession: A cross-sectional survey study.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 6)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 7,506 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Abstract :

Introduction Religion and spirituality play important roles in the lives of many, including healthcare providers and their patients. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between religion, spirituality, and cultural competence of healthcare providers. Methods Physicians, residents, and medical students were recruited through social platforms to complete an electronically delivered survey, gathering data regarding demographics, cultural competency, religiosity, and spirituality. Four composite variables were created to categorize cultural competency: Patient Care Knowledge, Patient Care Skills/Abilities, Professional Interactions, and Systems Level Interactions. Study participants (n = 144) were grouped as Christian (n = 95)/non-Christian (n = 49) and highly religious (n = 62)/not highly religious (n = 82); each group received a score in the four categories. Wilcoxon rank sum and Chi-square tests were used for analysis of continuous and discrete variables. Results A total of 144 individuals completed the survey with the majority having completed medical school (n = 87), identifying as women (n = 108), white (n = 85), Christian (n = 95), and not highly religious (n = 82). There were no significant differences amongst Christian versus non-Christian groups or highly religious versus not highly religious groups when comparing their patient care knowledge (p = .563, p = .457), skills/abilities (p = .423, p = .51), professional interactions (p = .191, p = .439), or systems level interaction scores (p = .809, p = .078). Nevertheless, participants reported decreased knowledge of different healing traditions (90%) and decreased skills inquiring about religious/spiritual and cultural beliefs that may affect patient care (91% and 88%). Providers also reported rarely referring patients to religious services (86%). Conclusions Although this study demonstrated no significant impact of healthcare providers' religious/spiritual beliefs on the ability to deliver culturally competent care, it did reveal gaps around how religion and spirituality interact with health and healthcare. This suggests a need for improved cultural competence education.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A665292623