Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Clinical Science

Program

Family Medicine

Supervisor

Dr. Judith Belle Brown, Dr. Moira Stewart, Dr. Bridget L. Ryan

Abstract

Aims: This thesis explored patients’ perspectives on discussing their religious and spiritual beliefs with their family physicians and family physicians’ behaviours in discussing patients’ religion and spirituality.

Methods: This thesis examined the role of religion and spirituality in patient care in family medicine using qualitative and quantitative methodologies including in-depth interviews of patients and a survey of family physicians.

Findings: The majority of participants believed that religion and spirituality was important in patient care in family medicine. Barriers and facilitators were identified to the integration of religion and spirituality into patient care. Both studies identified physician comfort level as a barrier and medical education as a potential solution.

Conclusions: The majority of participants believed that patients’ religious and spiritual beliefs were important to know, but identified comfort level as a barrier to asking. Medical education on religion and spirituality in patient care is important to increasing physician comfort level.


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