Negative Spiritual Beliefs Associated with More Pain and Worse Physical, Mental Health

Posted in Health Psychology

Individuals who blame karma for their poor health have more pain and worse physical and mental health, according to a new study from University of Missouri researchers. Targeted interventions to counteract negative spiritual beliefs could help some individuals decrease pain and improve their overall health, the researchers said. “In general, the more religious or spiritual you are, the healthier you are, which makes sense,” said Brick Johnstone, a neuropsychologist and professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions. “But for some individuals, even if they have even the smallest degree of negative spirituality – basically, when individuals believe they’re ill because they’ve done something wrong and God is punishing them – their health is worse.” Johnstone and his colleagues studied nearly 200 individuals to find out how their spiritual beliefs affected their health outcomes. Individuals in the study had a range of health conditions, such as cancer,...

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