Religious fatalism and its association with health behaviors and outcomes

Am J Health Behav. Nov-Dec 2007;31(6):563-72. doi: 10.5555/ajhb.2007.31.6.563.


Objective: To examine the association between religious fatalism and health care utilization, health behaviors, and chronic illness.

Methods: As part of Nashville's REACH 2010 project, residents (n=1273) participated in a random telephone survey that included health variables and the helpless inevitability subscale of the Religious Health Fatalism Questionnaire.

Results: Religious health fatalism was higher among African Americans and older participants. Some hypotheses about the association between fatalism and health outcomes were confirmed.

Conclusion: Religious fatalism is only partially predictive of health behaviors and outcomes and may be a response to chronic illness rather than a contributor to unhealthy behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Demography
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion*
  • Superstitions*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires