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Format: 04/25/2014
Format: 04/25/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Attitude toward God, faith impact mental health

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

By Pohla Smith

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Women with breast cancer who are angry or disillusioned with God and their faith are more likely to experience negative mental health symptoms, according to a study.

"They were more likely to be depressed when they were assessed at eight to 12 months [later]," said Dr. Randy Hebert, medical director of Forbes Hospice of the West Penn Allegheny Health System and lead author of the study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

"We were able to find out that people who increased their negative feeling toward God also experienced negative changes in mental health," said Bozena Zdaniuk of the Center for Urban and Social Research at the University of Pittsburgh, and one of the co-authors.

Fifteen percent of the people enrolled in the study -- tracked at the beginning and at the end -- had negative feelings toward God and lacked faith, Dr. Hebert said. That 15 percent may not have involved the same individuals, as people's attitudes may have changed over the 8- to 12-month study. The 15 percentage with negative religious, however, is "fairly consistent" with the finding of larger studies, he added.


To read more, visit the Post-Gazette web site.

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