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J Relig Health. 2005 Spring;44(1):39-53.

Concordant spiritual orientations as a factor in physician-patient spiritual discussions: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Cox Family Practice Residency, Springfield, MO, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To understand the impact of physicians' and patients' religious/spiritual orientation on discussions of spiritual issues.

METHODS:

We performed semi-structured interviews of 10 Missouri family physicians and 10 patients of these physicians, selecting subjects nonrandomly to represent a range of demographic factors, practice types, and chronic or terminal illness. We coded and evaluated transcribed interviews for themes.

RESULTS:

Respondents expressed that similar belief systems facilitate patient-physician spiritual interactions and bring confidence to their relationships. Those holding dissimilar faiths noted limited ability to address spiritual questions directly. They cited significant barriers to spiritual interaction but considered that ecumenism, use of patient-centered care, and negotiation skills lessen these barriers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our respondents view spirituality similarly to other aspects of the physician-patient relationship involving differing viewpoints. Where discordance exists, cross-cultural, patient-centered, diplomatic approaches facilitate spiritual discussions.

PMID:
16285131
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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