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Clinical Crossroads
Clinician's Corner
July 24/31, 2002

An 83-Year-Old Woman With Chronic Illness and Strong Religious Beliefs

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Koenig is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Medical Center, Durham, NC.


Clinical Crossroads Section Editor: Margaret A. Winker, MD, Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(4):487-493. doi:10.1001/jama.288.4.487

Dr Burns: Mrs A is an 83-year-old woman who has multiple medical problems and, despite numerous medical interventions, chronic progressive pain and weakness. She feels that her faith offers the most help for coping with her illness. She lives in a senior residence near Boston and has 3 daughters, 2 sons, and many grandchildren. Mrs A attends church regularly and has a strong social support network through church. She has Medicare insurance, and her primary physician is Dr M, who practices at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.