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Role of spirituality in combating illness

Monique S. White, BS, School of Public Health, Jackson State University, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Drive, Jackson, MS 39213, 601-368-4631, clifton.addison@jsums.edu

Objectives: The major objective of this study was to examine the perceptions and practices of medical personnel (doctors and nurses) concerning the incorporation of spirituality along with traditional medicine using drugs and surgery in the healing process of patients. The study sought to examine the role the patient has in his own recovery and care. Methods: A survey was developed and administered to doctors and nurses in a medical complex in a southern state. The survey solicited responses from the medical personnel on their beliefs and practices in treating patients within their facility. Respondents were asked to give their views on daily practices regarding patient care and patient response to treatment. The results of the survey were analyzed to examine their philosophy on the role of spirituality. Results: The doctors believe that a large number of medical problems are related to mind and body stress issues that surgery and drugs may not necessarily cure. The emphasis on self-care for some of these medical problems can put the patient back in control and eliminate the use of excessive drugs in the treatment process. Conclusion: Health and well being are assured if all the elements are working closely together. Good medical practices combined with a strong mental and psychological disposition provide a vital foundation for directly confronting diseases. Spiritual engagement helps to support a psychological outlook that is necessary for fighting diseases. All the forces working together provide a well-balanced attack on disease and increase the patientís chances of recovering and surviving.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Wellness, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Related Web page: NA

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Alternative and Complementary Health Practices and Public Health

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA