The BENEFIT through spirituality/religiosity scale--a 6-item measure for use in health outcome studies.
OBJECTIVE: We intended to develop a brief and compact scale which measures the beneficial effects of spirituality/religiosity (SpR) on several dimensions of patients' life concerns, to be used in health outcome studies. METHOD: To attain a short measure valid for spiritual and religious dimensions, we designed a scale based on tested items of an independent item pool of the already established SpREUK inventory, which measures SpR attitudes and convictions and holds an independent data pool addressing the support of life concerns through SpR. To validate the intended BENEFIT scale, reliability and factor analyses were performed utilizing 371 individuals with different chronic diseases recruited in various medical centers in Germany (exploratory analysis), while for the confirmatory analyses we used an independent pool of 229 patients with chronic pain conditions. RESULTS: Six items addressed the beneficial effects of SpR of the patients' concerns, and thus were chosen for the BENEFIT scale. These items had a good internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.922). Primary factor analysis pointed to a 1-factor solution, which explained 72% of variance. Correlation analyses revealed that the BENEFIT scale correlated with both uniquely religious and spiritual attitudes. CONCLUSIONS: The data demonstrate the reliability and validity of the 6-item BENEFIT scale that captures a unique aspect of SpR that can be used in epidemiological studies and clinical trials for those who wish to assess both the external and internal dimensions of SpR. This brief instrument can be easily incorporated into almost any study of mental health, physical health, or quality of life.
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