- freely available
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020019
3.1. Definitions and Measurements of Lack of Religious Belief
3.2. Healthcare Decision-Making as a Potential Source of Psychological Distress
Conflicts of Interest
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|Author||Nonbelief Defined||Measurement Tools||Study Design||Results|
|Tonigan 2002 ||Self-identified religious affiliation: atheist, agnostic, unsure||Religious Behavior and Background (RBB) questionnaire|
Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement (AAI) self-report tool
Form 90 interview for client drinking
|USA Project MATCH outpatient and aftercare samples, N = 1526||AA: benefits and likelihood of participation|
God belief is unimportant in deriving AA-related benefit, but atheist and agnostic clients are less likely to initiate and sustain AA attendance. Unsure patients had the highest rates of drinking and the least improvement after treatment.
|Smith 2006 ||“No religion” group: agnostic, atheist, no religion, humanist, or rationalist||Demographic/help-seeking questionnaire|
Paranormal Beliefs scale
|Australian online study, N = 414||Relationship between help-seeking and adherence to mainstream religion, alternative religion, and no religion|
“No religion” group less likely to choose “priest/rabbi/minister/coven/etc.” for counseling support compared with mainstream and alternative groups.
No religion group chose “friend or relative” to greater extent than either group.
|Baker 2010 ||Self-reported religious affiliation: atheist, agnostic||63 item questionnaire:|
Depression-Happiness Scale (DHS)
Measurement of frequency of religious practices
Scale analyzing beliefs about treatments for depression
|British study, November 2007–February 2008, N = 471 (130 atheists, 104 agnostics)||Differences in perceived efficacy of depression treatment form|
Social, cognitive/self-help, or professional/medical treatments: no significant difference between all groups
Religious treatments: believers rated more highly than nonbelievers.
|Smith-Stoner 2007 ||Atheist: members of two atheist organizations||Online and paper surveys||USA pilot study, members of two atheist organizations, 3 months in 2005, N = 88 (all atheists)||Atheist preferences for end-of-life care|
Include pain and symptom management, clear decision making, preparation for death, completion, and affirmation of the whole person (including respect for nonbelief), contributing to others (organ donation), and support of physician-assisted suicide. Atheists expressed concern that healthcare workers may attempt to proselytize them prior to death.
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