chapter  6
Assessing Patients’ Spirituality: Taking a Spiritual History
Pages 14

Other religious beliefs intersect with health beliefs and may influence care. A population survey of 1,052 people in North Carolina found that nearly 90 percent of people believe in healing miracles.3 Over half of people in one study of 200 patients reported they had experienced or been aware of healing miracles.4 Seventy-seven percent of inpatients in the same study said that God’s will was the most important factor in getting well from an illness, more important than willpower, the doctor’s care, or other factors. Such beliefs may have important implications for addressing end-of-life issues, compliance with therapy, and expectations of recovery in the face of serious medical conditions. Research data support the idea that patients are religious and have spiritual lives that are important to them in the medical setting (see Photo 6.1).