Mind-Body Medicine and reduction of Health-care costs
a. Reducing physical disability.
Pressman, P., Lyons, J.S., Larson, D.B., & Strain,
J.J. (1990). Religious belief, depression, and ambulation
status in elderly women with broken hips. American Journal
of Psychiatry. 147, 758-759.
time to recovery in 33 e1deriy women hospitalised with
hip fracture. Women who expressed greater religious
beliefs and devotiona1 practices experienced less depression
and were able to walk further at the time of hospital
discharge (reflecting less disability and faster recovery).
Idler, E.L., & Kas1, S. V. (1991). Religion among
disabled and nondisabled elderly persons, II: Attendance
at religious services as a predictor of the course of
disability. Journal of Gerontology 52B, S306-S316.
A 12-year longitudinal study of 2,812 older adults in
New Haven, CT, conducted by Yale University researchers.
Found that frequent religious attendance (reflecting
religious belief) in 1982 was associated with significantly
less disability during the 6-12 years of follow-up.
These findings persisted after controlling for baseline
physical functioning, health practices, social ties,
and indicators of well-being.
b. Reducing Use of Acute Hospital Service
McSherry E, Ciulla M, Salisbury S, Tsuang D (1987).
Spiritual resources in older hospitalised men. Social
Heart surgery patients with
higher than average personal religious beliefs on admission
had post-op lengths of stay that were 20% less than
those with lower than average belief scores.
Bliss JR, McSherry E., Fassett J (1995). Chaplain
intervention reduces costs in major DRGs: An experimental
study. In Hefferman H., McSherry E., Fittgerald R (eds),
Proceedings NHI Clinical Center Conference on Spirituality
and Health Care outcomes, March 21, 1995.
Investigators randomised 33 open-heart surgery patients
to either a Chaplain intervention (supportive of religious
belief) or usual care. Patients in the intervention
group had an average 2 days shorter post-op hospitalization;
resulting in an overall cost of $4,200 per patient.
Koenig HG, Larson DB (1998).
Use of hospital
services. Church attendance, and religious affiliation.
Southern Medical Journal, in press (October issue).
Found an inverse relationship between frequency of religious
service attendance (reflecting religious belief) and
likelihood of hospital admission in a sample of 455
older patients. Those who attended church weekly or
oftener were significantly less likely in the previous
year to have been admitted to the hospital, had fewer
hospital admissions, and spent fewer days in the hospital
than those attending less often; these associations
retained their significance after controlling for covariates.
Patients unaffiliated with a religious community had
significantly longer index hospital stays than those
affiliated. Unaffiliated patients (reflecting religious
belief) spent an average of 25 days in the hospital.
compared with 11 days for affiliated patients(p<.0001);
this association strengthened when physical health and
other covariates were controlled. Intrinsic religious
belief was also associated with fewer days in the hospital.