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Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Lawrence, RE; Rasinski, KA; Yoon, JD; Curlin, FA
Published in: Int J Psychiatry Med
2013

OBJECTIVE: Historical evidence and prior research suggest that psychiatry is biased against religion, and religious physicians are biased against the mental health professions. Here we examine whether religious and non-religious physicians differ in their treatment recommendations for a patient with medically unexplained symptoms. METHOD: We conducted a national survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists. We presented a vignette of a patient with medically unexplained symptoms, and experimentally varied whether the patient was religiously observant. We asked whether physicians would recommend six interventions: antidepressant medication, in-office counseling, referral to a psychiatrist, referral to a psychologist or licensed counselor, participation in meaningful relationships and activities, and involvement in religious community. Predictors included the physician's specialty and the physician's attendance at religious services. RESULTS: The response rate was 63% (896 of 1427) primary care physicians and 64% (312 of 487) psychiatrists. We did not find evidence that religious physicians were less likely to recommend mental health resources, nor did we find evidence that psychiatrists were less likely to recommend religious involvement. Primary care physicians (but not psychiatrists) were more likely to recommend that the patient get more involved in their religious community when the patient was more religiously observant, and when the physician more frequently attended services. CONCLUSIONS: We did not find evidence that mental health professionals are biased against religion, nor that religious physicians are biased against mental health professionals. Historical tensions are potentially being replaced by collaboration.

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Published In

Int J Psychiatry Med

DOI

ISSN

0091-2174

Publication Date

2013

Volume

45

Issue

1

Start / End Page

31 / 44

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Workforce
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religion
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Physicians, Primary Care
  • Middle Aged
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
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Lawrence, R. E., Rasinski, K. A., Yoon, J. D., & Curlin, F. A. (2013). Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Int J Psychiatry Med, 45(1), 31–44. https://doi.org/10.2190/PM.45.1.c
Lawrence, Ryan E., Kenneth A. Rasinski, John D. Yoon, and Farr A. Curlin. “Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists.Int J Psychiatry Med 45, no. 1 (2013): 31–44. https://doi.org/10.2190/PM.45.1.c.
Lawrence RE, Rasinski KA, Yoon JD, Curlin FA. Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2013;45(1):31–44.
Lawrence, Ryan E., et al. “Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists.Int J Psychiatry Med, vol. 45, no. 1, 2013, pp. 31–44. Pubmed, doi:10.2190/PM.45.1.c.
Lawrence RE, Rasinski KA, Yoon JD, Curlin FA. Religion and beliefs about treating medically unexplained symptoms: a survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2013;45(1):31–44.
Journal cover image

Published In

Int J Psychiatry Med

DOI

ISSN

0091-2174

Publication Date

2013

Volume

45

Issue

1

Start / End Page

31 / 44

Location

United States

Related Subject Headings

  • Workforce
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religion
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry
  • Physicians, Primary Care
  • Middle Aged