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J Relig Health. 2013 Sep;52(3):981-90. doi: 10.1007/s10943-013-9718-x.

Negotiating health-related uncertainties: biomedical and religious sources of information and support.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, MS 071, Waltham, MA 02454, USA. wcadge@brandeis.edu

Abstract

This article explores how people experience health-related uncertainties and how they look to biomedical and religious sources of information in response. Data were gathered in a larger project focused on spirituality in everyday life. Respondents were not asked any direct questions about their health or health care, but almost all of the 95 participants brought up the topics in response to other questions. About one-third spoke of being uncertain about some aspect of their health or healthcare. We explore the health-related topics about which people were uncertain and how they looked to biomedical and religious sources of information, most often seeing the religious as a support for the biomedical. We outline the range of ways they experienced God in this process pointing to the multiple complex ways they make sense of health-related uncertainties.

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