Living on a prayer: religious affiliation and trauma outcomes.
Department of Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20060, USA.The American surgeon (Impact Factor: 0.82). 01/2012; 78(1):66-8.
Research has shown that religious affiliation is associated with reduced all cause mortality. The aim of this study was to determine if religious affiliation predicts trauma-specific mortality and length of stay. Patients admitted to our urban Level I trauma center in 2008 were examined; the main study categorization was based on endorsement of a specific religious affiliation during a standard intake procedure. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was performed with in-hospital mortality and length of stay as the outcomes of interest, adjusting for demographic and injury severity characteristics. A total of 2303 patients were included in the study. Forty-six per cent endorsed a religious affiliation. Patients with a religious affiliation were more likely to be female, Hispanic, and older than those who reported no affiliation (P < 0.001). There was no difference in length of hospital stay. On bivariate analysis those without religious affiliation were more likely to die (P = 0.01), but this difference disappeared after adjusting for covariates. Although we could not identify a statistical association between religious affiliation and mortality on multivariate analysis, there was an association with injury severity suggesting religious patients were less severely injured.
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ABSTRACT: Despite advances in resuscitation, resurfacing, and reconstruction, recovery in burn patients often depends upon emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual healing. We characterized the spiritual needs of burn patients to help identify resources necessary to optimize recovery. We performed a retrospective review of all patients admitted to a regional, accredited burn center, in 2011. We accessed multiple clinical, financial, and administrative databases, collected demographic data, including religious affiliation, and recorded the number and type of pastoral care visits. Outcome measures included length of stay (LOS), physician and facility charges, and mortality. We compared patients who had a pastoral care visit with those who did not, as well as patients with a religious affiliation with those who had no or an unknown affiliation. During the study period, our burn center admitted 1338 patients, 314 of whom were visited by chaplains, for a total of 1077 encounters (3.43 visits per patient seen). Most frequent interventions were prayer, social support, and spiritual counseling. Compared to patients who had no visit, patients who saw a chaplain had a larger total body surface area burn, longer LOS, higher charges, and higher mortality (10.2% vs. 0.78%, P < 0.001). Patients who had a religious affiliation had slightly lower mortality than patients with unknown or no religious affiliation (0.87% vs. 3.19%), but this did not reach statistical significance. In burn patients, utilization of pastoral care appears to be linked to size of burn, financial charges, and length of stay, with religious affiliation serving as a possible marker for improved survival. Plastic surgeons and burn providers should consider and address the spiritual needs of burn patients, as a component of recovery.
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ABSTRACT: As the focus on modern neurosurgery has shifted to the realm of technological advancement, some patients and their loved ones still hold a strong faith in their religion to guide them through the process. This study aimed to determine whether religion as a coping mechanism was beneficial for patients before, during and after craniotomy. Qualitative case study methodology was used. Interviews were conducted with randomly selected 36 adult patients who underwent surgery for a benign or malignant brain tumour. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed, and the data subjected to thematic analysis. Four overarching themes emerged from the data: (1) religion significantly benefited neurosurgical patients; (2) neurosurgical patients did not require a dedicated religious room in the hospital; (3) neurosurgical patients required religious resources such as leaders and/or groups; and (4) patients were not in favour of their physician engaging in the religious ritual. Most patients found religion to be an effective coping mechanism, offering them strength, comfort, and hope through the surgery. The findings from this study emphasize the need for including a "religious time-out" before and after surgery and the inclusion of religious leaders/groups for those in favour to ensure quality care and patient satisfaction.
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