Religion has always been a major aspect of African-American life. Religion instills morals, discipline and optimism in its practitioners. We often credit our faith in God with our ability to overcome major life issues. Many people feel that their spirituality has greatly influenced their health and many doctors are in agreement, according to a study performed by researchers from the University of Chicago.
“The majority of U.S. doctors — 56 percent — believes that religion and spirituality influence patient’s health,” said lead author Dr. Farr A. Curlin, an assistant professor of medicine. “The influence mostly helps patients cope with illness and gives them a positive state of mind.” Most doctors feel, the more positive a patient’s attitude is towards beating a health problem, the easier it is for them to bring the patient back to good health.
The patient plays a major role in regaining their health. The doctor can only prescribe medicine and provide instructions. It is up to patient to act on these recommendations. Patients who are not motivated or have little faith in their ability to overcome their conditions are less likely to properly implement doctor recommended changes into their lives. Patients who maintain a strong belief in God often maintain a “God helps those who help themselves” attitude and are more likely to follow instructions and live within guidelines.