Interest in the role of spirituality in health outcomes has increased in recent years in both scientific and lay circles, as evidenced by increases in published articles and in funding for research in this area. This entry provides a brief review of the research on spirituality and health, methodological challenges, and future research directions. This area of research not only has theoretical value but may also lead to applied knowledge relevant to health education and promotion.

Discussions of research in this area should generally begin with a brief definition of concepts, including what is meant by the term spirituality. These discussions typically also involve the concept of religion, as the two concepts are often used interchangeably in this literature even though they refer to distinct—yet potentially ...

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