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November 27, 2002

Spirituality and Chronic Illness

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior Editor


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;288(20):2541. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2541-JLT1127-3-2

To the Editor: In his discussion of the impact of spiritual beliefs and the benefit to patients, Dr Koenig hypothesizes that the improved health outcomes may be due to deep relaxation, distraction from pain, alteration of neural pathways, and hormonal changes.1 He also points out that 90% of Americans turn to religion in times of stress. These millions of people are not praying for the mechanisms suggested by Koenig, but for divine intervention. Yet not one word in his article addresses even the notion of a divine power.

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