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Religion, Spirituality, and Acute Care Hospitalization and Long-term Care Use by Older Patients

This study aims to investigate about the impact of religion and spirituality on acute care hospitalization (ACH) and long-term care (LTC) in older patients before, during, and after ACH.

 Study experimented with patients 50 years or older consecutively admitted to the general medical service at Duke University Medical Center were interviewed shortly after admission (N = 811).

 In conclusion, outcomes of the research show that, relationships with ACH were weak, were confined to ORA only, and disappeared in prospective analyses. However, robust and persistent effects were documented for religiousness and/or spirituality in the use of LTC among African Americans and women.

 Primary hypothesis was that religious and spiritual practices, attitudes, and experiences would be associated with fewer ACH days, an effect that is greatest among women and African Americans (owing to strong associations between religion and health in these populations). Related to this was the expectation that religious and spiritual practices would be associated with fewer incidents of ACH.

 Second, researchers hypothesized that religious and spiritual practices would be related to fewer days spent in nursing home or rehabilitation settings.

 Finally, researchers expected that religiousness, with its emphasis on community support, would have greater effects than spirituality.


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