For Parish Nurses

Parish Nurse Research Update

Dear Parish Nurses - Advent will soon be here and the busyness of the season may bog us down, but step back, take a deep breath, and know that if it doens' t get done, it will be OK - Thanksgiving and Christmas will still happen.  

1.  Koenig, H. G. (2017). Prostestant Christianity and Mental Health. Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health. Duke University.  I just saw this mentioned in Crossroads, Exploring research on religion, spirituality and health, a free newsletter from Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University.  You can subscribe to the newsletter by just requesting it - google the center.  This book is one of a series on mental health issues in the various faith traditions.  I encourage you to explore these books, especially if your ministry crosses other denominations.  

2. Chen, Y.  & VanderWeel, T. J. (2018). Associations of religious upbringing with subsequent health and well-being from adolescence to your adulthood: An outcome-wide asalysis.  American Journal of Epidemiolgy. (https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwy142.  The investigators examined the effects of religious service attendence and prayer/meditation on psychological well-being, mental health, health behavior, physical health, and character strengths across the follow-up period of the Growing up Today Study, a prospective study of 5,681-7,458 young persons age 14.7 at the baseline (1999) followed up 8-14 years.  Results indicated that persons who attended religious services at least weekly in 1999, compared to those who never attended, experienced greater life satisfaction, more positive affect, developed more character strengths, had lower probabilities of marijuana use, were less likelihood of early sexual initiation, and had fewer lifetime sexual partners.  Similar results were obtained for frequency of prayer/meditation.  The authors concluded that "although decisions about religion are not shaped principally by health, encourgaing service attendence and private practices in addolescents who already hold religious beliefs may be meaningful avenues of development and support, possibly leading to better health and well-being."

Parish nurses, this research support the idea that planing programs that appeal to young adults and address their spiritual journey may positively effect their well-being and health.

3.  Roberts, J. R. & Maxfield, M. (2018). Examining the relationship between religious and spiritual motivation and worry about Alzheimer's Disease in later life.  Journal of Religion and Health, 57:2500-2514.  The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between religious behaviors, religious motivation, and worry about having Alzheimer's Disease.  The sample was made up of 83 adults age 60 or over.  After controlling for several variables, the authors concluded that "internalizing one's religious beliefs and building a social network within a religious community may provide a psychological buffer against dementia worry." 

Pairsh nurses - do you have programs that draw older adults together into a social network?  This research supports how those types of programs will help support those older adults who may develop one of the dementias.

4.  Rizzo, L. H. (2018). Suicide among nurses:  What we don't know might hurt us. American Nurse Today, 13(10), 10-15.  Suicide is on all our minds as we address the  raising issue in our youth.  But this report is about us!  I enourage you to find a copy of this article and consider the comments made by the author concerning risk factors, protective factors, cost, red flags, taking action, and resources.  Help is available for the asking. Protect your self and your colleagues.

If you have specific questions about research, I would be happy to help you explore the answers.  Research helps us move forward in providing the best possible care to those whose lives we impact.  If you plan to attend Westberg next April, please consider registereing for the Faith Community Nurses Internation Pre-Conference on Research in Faith Community Nursing.  Westberg is April 8-10, the preconference is Monday, April 8 morning so would require you to travel on Sunday.

Andrea West, FCN

amwestrn@yahoo.com