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.