Use of acute hospital services and mortality among religious and non-religious copers with medical illness
Religious coping was examined in a sample of 1011 men acutely hospitalized with medical illness (84% over age 65). Two groups of men were identified: (1) those who relied heavily upon religious beliefs and behaviors to cope with their illness (10%) and (2) those who found religion of little or no help in this regard (16%). These two groups were then followed prospectively for a mean period of 14 months (range 0 to 32 months). Data on hospitalization and survival were collected. There were no differences in length of hospitalization, frequency of hospitalization, or survival between the two groups. We conclude that short-term follow-up of hospitalized men found no differences in health-care service use or mortality between religious and non-religious copers. Whether or not the positive relationships between mental health, social support, avoidance of alcohol, and religious coping translate into lower healthcare utilization or longer survival among the medically ill requires further study. © 1995 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
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