Religion and Spirituality as Important Components of Men's Health and Wellness: An Analytic Review

Craig Garfield, Anthony Isacco, Ethan Sahker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Men's health has been receiving increased attention in health care research and practice because of associated negative outcomes and men's reluctance to seek help. Religion or religiosity, defined as involvement in an organized, structured community focused on moral code, and spirituality, defined as the subjective, mystical, and holistic interpretation of personal beliefs and behaviors, have been associated with positive health outcomes. Specifically, religion and spirituality mediate an increase in positive health outcomes and a decrease in risk factors through social and existential well-being. However, men seem to be less religious and spiritual compared with women, a potential problem as men may be missing an important pathway to health and wellness. This state-of-the-art review examines the intersections of religion, spirituality, and health and focuses on how religion and spirituality relate specifically to men's health and health behaviors. Subsequently, 4 health problems with religious and spiritual implications are examined that have been identified in the literature as pertinent to men's health: (a) prostate cancer screening and coping, (b) HIV/AIDS prevention and coping, (c) addictions, and (d) palliative care. Finally, suggestions are offered for clinicians to incorporate an understanding of religion and spirituality into their patient encounters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • men's health
  • prevention
  • religion
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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