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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Religion and spirituality in three major general medical journals from 1998 to 2000.

OBJECTIVES: Religion and spirituality provide the means by which many individuals and their families cope with illness. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that health outcomes may be influenced by patients' religious beliefs, attitudes, and behavior. METHODS: We examined three representative nonspecialty journals (Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine) between 1998 and 2000 for references to the role of religion/spirituality. Of the 2,385 studies found, only 20 (0.8%) examined some aspect of spirituality (n = 5), religion (n = 13), or both (n = 2). Spirituality was treated as a dependent variable in all seven articles in which it was studied. RESULTS: The effect of religion was analyzed in 11 of the 15 articles in which it was measured, and its effect was statistically significant in 8 of the 11 studies in which it was analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: Although religious variables were a key element of most of the studies in which they were measured, overall, little attention appears to be paid to these concepts in general medical journals, even though they may be useful for refining outcomes research.[1]


  1. Religion and spirituality in three major general medical journals from 1998 to 2000. Weaver, A.J., Flannelly, K.J., Case, D.B., Costa, K.G. South. Med. J. (2004) [Pubmed]
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