The National Spirituality and Health Consortium

Project: Research project

Project Details


The major objective of this proposal will be to measure religiosity and spirituality in South Asians enrolled in the MASALA study, and examine associations with psychosocial and disease outcomes and DNA methylation and telomere length. As a subcontract to the proposed study, we will assist Dr. Shields to accomplish the study aims by provision of these items: In year one, the Northwestern University Field Center, under the direction of Dr. Namratha Kandula, will add new measures of religiosity and spirituality to the MASALA study. We will add these questions to our ongoing annual data collection efforts and administer the questionnaire to our participants in person, by phone, or by email survey. The goal is to complete data collection in year 1 using any of these survey methods. The approximate number of participants who will complete this questionnaire is estimated at 875 from the MASALA prospective cohort (approximately 704 have DNA collection). Dr. Kandula will be directly responsible for the Northwestern clinical site data collection of approximately 385 participants. The Northwestern University project staff will be trained in collecting the Religion and Spirituality data using the questionnaire developed by Dr. Shields and her team. Dr. Kandula will also be responsible for monitoring the quality of the data collection and for reporting the data collection progress to Dr. Shields following a schedule to be determined at the start of the project. In years two and three, the Northwestern University MASALA field center project staff will continue annual follow-up surveys on MASALA study subjects to collect data on changes in health, cardiovascular disease events, and mortality. Dr. Kandula will be responsible for adjudicating outcomes for the MASALA study. Throughout the course of the 3-year project, Dr. Kandula and her team will work with co-Investigators at MGH and all study sites to plan for and participate in the project's meetings. The Northwestern University team will also participate in monthly conference calls to discuss progress and providing written reports to Dr. Shields on an annual basis for inclusion in the annual progress report and final report to the sponsor. Dr. Kandula will also work with Dr. Shields on data analysis and interpretation and the preparation of conference presentations and manuscripts reporting on the study.
Effective start/end date3/1/162/28/19


  • Massachusetts General Hospital (228148// MGH 07/28/2016)
  • John Templeton Foundation (228148// MGH 07/28/2016)


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