Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior Editor
To the Editor: Dr Koenig's Clinical Crossroads article1 supports the need for a holistic perspective of health, one incorporating spiritual factors with physical, psychological, and social determinants.2 The discussion also highlighted many challenges that physicians face when patients introduce religious or spiritual concerns. Social, psychological, and now spiritual information is encouraged in clinical assessments. Such information is increasingly considered in therapeutic planning, and can be useful in many ways. For example, the frequency of religious service attendance may be a proxy for functional status in disabled elderly patients,3 representing important information for physicians who care for this population. However, a primary consideration for clinicians is the way they frame and integrate religious and spiritual issues and concerns for their patients.
Daaleman TP. Spirituality and Chronic Illness. JAMA. 2002;288(20):2541. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2541-JLT1127-3-3