Spirituality, religion, social support and health among older Australian adults

  • Moxey A
  • McEvoy M
  • Bowe S
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AIM: To examine the impact of perceived importance of spirituality or religion (ISR) and religious service attendance (RSA) on health and well-being in older Australians. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 752 community-dwelling men and women aged 55-85 years from the Hunter Region, New South Wales. RESULTS: Overall, 51% of participants felt spirituality or religion was important in their lives and 24% attended religious services at least 2-3 times a month. In univariate regression analyses, ISR and RSA were associated with increased levels of social support (P < 0.001). However, ISR was also associated with more comorbidities (incidence-rate ratio= 1.2, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.33). There were no statistically significant associations between ISR or RSA and other measures such as mental and physical health. CONCLUSION: Spirituality and religious involvement have a beneficial impact on older Australians' perceptions of social support, and may enable individuals to better cope with the presence of multiple comorbidities later in life.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging/ psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New South Wales
  • Odds Ratio
  • Religion
  • Social Support
  • Spirituality

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  • A Moxey

  • M McEvoy

  • S Bowe

  • J Attia

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