DAILY CATHOLIC for March 27-29, 1998
NEWS & VIEWS
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vol, 9, no. 62

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Articles provided through Catholic World News ServiceCatholic World News Service
STUDY SAYS SPIRITUALITY AIDS HEALING

      NEW ORLEANS (CWN) - A Stanford University professor told the Society of Behavioral Medicine on Wednesday that the relationship between spirituality and healing is a scientifically documented principle that doctors should take advantage of in their treatment of patients.

      "When you keep getting a relationship in study after study, something's going on that's not just a fluke," Carl Thoresen, professor of education, psychology and psychiatry, said. "It's important enough that, if we continue to study, it could lead to changes in how we deliver health care and determine treatment," he said. "And it is not addressed now in health care." Thoresen spoke to a meeting of the society which promotes integrating behavioral and biomedical disciplines in healthcare.

      Among people with long-term illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, those with strong spiritual or religious beliefs are statistically likely to live longer, Thoresen said. People who are more religious tend to take better care of themselves, with more prudent diet and decreased likelihood of alcohol or drug abuse or smoking, he added.

      At present, health care professionals are the least likely to hold strong spiritual or religious beliefs and are uncomfortable in probing that area of patients' lives, even though polls have shown the majority of Americans believe in a higher power, Thoresen said.


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March 27-29, 1998       volume 9, no. 62
NEWS & VIEWS



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