Phil265/Rels265 Final Exam 31 Multiple choice or True-False worth 1 mark each 3 Short Answer Questions from choice of 5 worth 3 marks each (paragraph or two in length) Introduction to Philosophy




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Health Behaviors that influence health risks (Eg. Smoking, drinking, religious activities, etc)

  • Adjustment to Illness (Eg. Psychosocial and Psychodynamic effects)

  • Physiological functioning and disease progression (Eg. Healing effects of meditation, prayer or superempirical forces)

  • Effects of “spiritual care” provided by health care professionals



    Possible Scientific Explanations

    • Strict moral standards can obviously can help promote healthy lifestyle

    • Typical group oriented character of religions supports our well-understood needs for group acceptance and interaction

    • Salvation beliefs can obviously effect our sense of security and well being

    • So-called supernatural effects might just be examples of the “placebo effect”



    1. Health Behaviors

    • Lower rates of coronary disease, emphysema, cirrhosis & suicide (Comstock & Partriidge 1972)

    • Lower blood pressure (Larson, Koenig & Kaplan, 1989)

    • Lower rates of heart attack (Madalie, Kahn & Neufeld 1973)



    2. Adjustment to Illness

    • Improved functioning, compliance, self esteem & lower anxiety 1 year after heart transplant (R.C. Harris et. al. 1995)

    • Reduced levels of pain in cancer patients (Yates, Chalmers, St James, et. al. 1981)

    • Better perceived health and less medical service utilization (Frankel & Hewitt, 1994)

    • Decreased disability among nursing home dwellers (Idler & Kasl, 1992, 1997)



    3. Disease Progression - Meditation

    • Alexander, Langer, Newman and Chandler (1989) compared impact on short-term mortality of 73 nursing home residents of Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Relaxation Training and a control group. At 3 years TM group had a 100% survival rate, 87.5% for the MM group, 65% for the RT group and 62.5 for the control.



    3. Disease Progression - Intercessory Prayer

    • Byrd (1988), Sicher, Targ, Moore & Smith (1998), W.S. Harris (1999) conducted double blind studies on effects of prayer on mortality after heart attack. Patients prayed for

    • used 7% fewer antibiotics

    • 6% less need for intubation

    • 6% less pulmonary edema

    • 6% less congestive heart failure

    • 5% less heart attack



    4. Effects of “Spiritual Care”

    • A few studies have documented a positive relationship between care-giver attitudes towards spiritual care-giving and self-reported feelings of spiritual well-being (Millison & Dudley, 1990; Highfield, Taylor & Amenta, 2000)

    • Still much controversy over whether “spiritual care” helps improve health outcomes (Sloan et. al 2000, VandeCreek, 1999 vs. Weaver et. all., 2002)



    The Placebo Effect

    • A placebo is a sham medical intervention. In one common placebo procedure, a patient is given an inert sugar pill, told that it may improve his/her condition, but not told that it is in fact inert. Such an intervention may cause the patient to believe the treatment will change his/her condition; and this belief does indeed sometimes have a therapeutic effect, causing the patient's condition to improve. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect.



    Religion and Spirituality in Canada Today

    Reginald Bibby

    • Professor of Sociology at Lethbridge in Alberta

    • Organizer of the most exhaustive series of national surveys on religion in Canada in the 1980’s

    • Fragmented Gods is the book in which he published his findings and related them to other surveys done going back to the late 1940s

    • His stats and book remain a bench-mark despite the fact that there have been significant changes since



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