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

journal contribution
posted on 2011-06-01, 00:00 authored by A Moxey, M McEvoy, Steve Bowe, J Attia
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.

History

Journal

Australasian journal on ageing

Volume

30

Issue

2

Pagination

82 - 88

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

eISSN

1741-6612

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Wiley