Spirituality, wellness, and quality of life
Spirituality generally relates to better mental health, greater well-being, and higher quality of life. Physical health and medical outcomes may also be affected. Besides its connection with health, there are several practical reasons why health professionals ought to inquire about spirituality, particularly in patients with serious or chronic illness. Spiritual beliefs influence medical decisions that affect health care, may conflict with medical care, and can influence the doctor-patient relationship either positively or negatively. Support from the faith community can help patients cope better with difficult health stressors, may improve early detection of disease, and can enhance compliance with medical treatment. Although important for all patients, spiritual issues are particularly important for women, the elderly, the chronically ill, the disabled, and members of certain ethnic groups. © 2004 American Society for Reproductive Medicine Published by Elsevier Inc.
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