Spirituality and Religiosity as Psychosocial Determinants of Health in Populations Experiencing Health Disparities


This initiative will support multi-level, multi-domain intervention and observational research that addresses and/or investigates the role of spirituality or religiosity on health and well-being among populations experiencing health disparities. This research will aim to understand how spirituality and/or religiosity can best be integrated into comprehensive models of health and health care delivery among populations experiencing health disparities.

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Description of Initiative

This initiative will support observational and interventional studies that assess and address the role of spirituality and/or religiosity on the health and well-being of populations experiencing health disparities through integrating spirituality and/or religiosity across different settings, practices, and cultures, using context-appropriate measures and informing best practices for reducing health disparities and improving multi-level resilience and well-being.

Research Priorities: Areas of specific interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Understanding the mechanisms by which spirituality and religiosity can influence resilience, well-being, and improve health outcomes (i.e., understanding how spirituality/religiosity helps in recovery after an acute illness)
  • Examining the role of ethics related to spirituality and/or religiosity and their impact on healthcare decisions, healthcare seeking, and health-related behavior (i.e., end-of-life decisions, sexual and reproductive health)
  • Understanding the impact of different spiritual practices and religious traditions on health promotion, well-being, and health outcomes (i.e., meditation, prayer, scriptural reading, chanting, singing)
  • Evaluating faith-based interventions at the community level and how faith engenders trust and sustainability to promote health, well-being and enhance resilience
  • Examining the role of spirituality and/or religiosity in health care settings among populations experiencing health disparities and experiencing various health conditions (i.e., end-of-life care, cancer diagnosis, miscarriage, a new diagnosis of diabetes, etc.)
  • Assessing the impact of integrating spiritual perspectives and religious practices into medical knowledge and clinical treatment (i.e., integration of spirituality into mental health care)
  • Assessing the influence of overlapping historical, social, cultural, and structural contexts on identity, spirituality and/or religiosity, and health among persons with multiple marginalized identities

Page published Feb. 6, 2024