Online Program

Relationship between religiosity and health care utilization among Israeli Jews

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Shuli Brammli-Greenberg, PhD, The Smokler Center for Health Policy Research, Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, Jerusalem, Israel
Ephraim Shapiro, PHD, MPA, MBA, Health Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel
Jacob Glazer, PhD, University of Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
Background: While a growing body of evidence has shown an association between religiosity and health status, inadequate research exists about religiosity and health care utilization. This is particularly true among Israeli Jews whose distinctive religious and sociocultural attitudes and behaviors may lead to different results than other religious and ethnic groups, with concomitant implications for interventions.

Research Questions: 1) What is the relationship between religiosity and health status for Israeli Jews? 2) What is the relationship between health status and health care utilization for Israeli Jews? 3) Does the relationship between health status and utilization vary based on religious category?

Methodology: The random-sample Israel National Health Survey was analyzed. Utilization was measured by visit to a physician, mental health professional or hospital. Both physical and mental health status measures were included. Religious group was categorized by self-report. Multivariate models were constructed for health status and utilization, controlling for demographic, social and religious factors. Odds ratios and probabilities were produced. Moderation was tested using interaction variables.

Results: Almost 3600 Israeli Jews were surveyed. Associations were found between religious category and both health status and utilization, with variations found by specific outcome measure. Physical health status and physician visits were the measures with strongest evidence of relationships with religiosity. Some evidence of interaction effects was found.

Conclusion: Religiosity is associated with utilization and health status for Israeli Jews. Interventions, such as education or stigma reduction, can potentially be developed to increase utilization and overall health. Additional research is needed, however.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between religiosity, health status and utilization for Israeli Jews Identify variations in the relationship between health status and utilization based on religious category for Israeli Jews Discuss the implications of these findings for developing interventions to increase appropriate health care utilization targeting different groups of Israeli Jews, based on category of religiosity

Keyword(s): Utilization, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience researching and presenting on the relationship between religion and health, including a diversity diverse ethnic groups. My training incluides a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences and an MPA in Health Policy and Management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.