Religious attendance and continuity of care

Int J Psychiatry Med. 2003;33(4):377-89. doi: 10.2190/F5DY-5GAB-K298-EMEK.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between religious attendance and continuity of care.

Methods: We investigated this relationship in a large national database--the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III--which contains information on religious attendance, continuity of care, and potential confounders that might mediate the relationship such as health status and socioeconomic status.

Results: A total of 18,162 participants 17 years of age or older were included in the analysis. People who attended religious services were more likely to have continuity with a provider than people who did not attend such services (65% vs. 35%, p < .001). This association persisted after controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and health status variables using regression analysis.

Conclusion: This study documents a significant association between attendance at religious services and continuity with a usual provider. Continuity with a regular medical provider may influence the association of religious attendance and health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Center for Health Statistics, U.S.
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Religion*
  • Social Class
  • United States