Spirituality, Religiosity, and Health: a Comparison of Physicians' Attitudes in Brazil, India, and Indonesia.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: One of the biggest challenges in the spirituality, religiosity, and health field is to understand how patients and physicians from different cultures deal with spiritual and religious issues in clinical practice. PURPOSE: The present study aims to compare physicians' perspectives on the influence of spirituality and religion (S/R) on health between Brazil, India, and Indonesia. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional, cross-cultural, multi-center study carried out from 2010 to 2012, examining physicians' attitudes from two continents. Participants completed a self-rated questionnaire that collected information on sociodemographic characteristics, S/R involvement, and perspectives concerning religion, spirituality, and health. Differences between physicians' responses in each country were examined using chi-squared, ANOVA, and MANCOVA. RESULTS: A total of 611 physicians (194 from Brazil, 295 from India, and 122 from Indonesia) completed the survey. Indonesian physicians were more religious and more likely to address S/R when caring for patients. Brazilian physicians were more likely to believe that S/R influenced patients' health. Brazilian and Indonesians were as likely as to believe that it is appropriate to talk and discuss S/R with patients, and more likely than Indians. No differences were found concerning attitudes toward spiritual issues. CONCLUSION: Physicians from these different three countries had very different attitudes on spirituality, religiosity, and health. Ethnicity and culture can have an important influence on how spirituality is approached in medical practice. S/R curricula that train physicians how to address spirituality in clinical practice must take these differences into account.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lucchetti, G; Ramakrishnan, P; Karimah, A; Oliveira, GR; Dias, A; Rane, A; Shukla, A; Lakshmi, S; Ansari, BK; Ramaswamy, RS; Reddy, RA; Tribulato, A; Agarwal, AK; Bhat, J; Satyaprasad, N; Ahmad, M; Rao, PH; Murthy, P; Kuntaman, K; Koenig, HG; Lucchetti, ALG

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 63 - 70

PubMed ID

  • 26025629

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-7558

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12529-015-9491-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England