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SOCW 6204 Walden University Religion and Spirituality Perception of Patients Discussion

SOCW 6204 Walden University Religion and Spirituality Perception of Patients Discussion

Question Description

Respond to two different colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

Comment or elaborate on the impact of religion or spirituality on patients’ perceptions of health and health outcomes that your colleague selected.

Critique your colleague’s post. Expand on the potential impact of your colleague’s personal views about religion or spirituality on providing service to a patient.

Expand on your colleague’s posting by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

Use Reference:

DB 1


Post an explanation of the impact religion or spirituality can have on patients’ perceptions of health and health outcomes.

Religious beliefs and spirituality play a big role in healthcare even though many may not see this.According to Health Stream (2020) patients often turn to their religious and spiritual beliefs when making medical decisions. According to Gehlert (2019) religion has always playa fundamental role in the lives of individuals, communities and large communities. When we are working with clients, we need to be aware of what the patient’s views are. But I feel that a person that is spiritual or religious its good for them because if they are facing something major it can bring them ease. This is evident because according to Gehlert (2019) a person’s spiritual identity tends to shape their experience when it comes to them making health care decisions.

Explain how religion and spirituality might influence patients’ experiences of illness, healing, resilience, and death.

Spirituality can play a big role in influencing a patient’s experience. According to Puchalski (2001) they shared a story about a young lady whose husband left her, and she contracted AIDS from him. She felt that God was punishing her from an abortion she had when she was younger (She was raped). She stated that she was waiting for her punishment to come get her and this was it. The social worker tried to work with her, but they were not making a connection due to the patient being stuck on this was her time to be punished by God. After a year the patient agreed to get the help and assistance that she needed after she found herself and realized she needed assistance. As medical professionals we will all come across these kinds of situation and the only thing that we can do is be there for the client. We cannot push treatment, therapies or anything else on the patients even though we may believe they need it now. It will take time for them to adjust especially if they are basing their decision on their religion or spirituality beliefs. We just need to be patient. They may not change their mind either, but we are still going to be there for them. According to the NASW Code of Ethics (2017) it is the social workers primary goal to help people in need. Our patients are the ones that are in need, so this means that we help them without judgement or any criticism.

Explain the potential impact of your personal views about religion or spirituality on providing services to a patient.

Every person has their owns views on what religion or spirituality is or has their own. In the health care setting when a professional voice their religion or spiritual beliefs in the decision making of a patient of theirs that is when disaster can occur. According to Swihart, & Martin, (2020) if health care workers are not working together to provide culturally competent care then there could be unwanted health consequences, the patients receives poor care and interactions between workers decrease. We need to make sure that we are all working together even if we don’t agree with each other religion or spirituality. Teamwork is essential especially when giving the patient the nest quality care that they deserve.

Explain ways you might improve your understanding of your patients’ views about religion and spirituality

Ways that a health care worker o I would improve our understanding on a patient view on spirituality or religion I to speak with them about their beliefs and views and what we can do as health care workers to improve this aspect. By doing this we are showing that we are showing interest and respect to their ways. Just being aware of the different ways like mind, body, spirit will help us health care workers in the long run without offending our patients.

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2019). Religion, belief, spirituality in health care. In Handbook of health social work (3rd., pp. 280-296). Wiley.

Health Stream (2020). Recognizing Religious Beliefs in Healthcare. Retrieved from,gender%20of%20their%20health%20providers.

National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Retrieved from…

Puchalski C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 14(4), 352–357.

Swihart, D., Martin, R. (2020). Cultural Religious Competence In Clinical PracticeRetrieved from:

DB 2


Religion and spirituality can have immense impact on the perception of health and health outcomes for various reasons. This in regarding physical health as well as mental health and well-being. As Kyarfordt shares, religion has an amount of support that aid individuals in challenges and difficult medical situations (2018). Oxhandler goes further to define spirituality as a personal quest for understanding questions regarding life, meaning, and challenges that affect development (2015). Understanding what various belief systems consist of aids in understanding approaches and reasonings behind the influence it has on a patients experience of illness, healing, resilience, and death. A set of beliefs stimulated by religious or spiritual practices influences decisions on how to approach their treatment options and morals felt needed to be upheld.

Embigo emphasizes that “everyone wants to believe in something intrinsic or extrinsic;” no matter what is held within their belief or lack of belief system (2017). There are many individuals who believe faith will cure them of anything that this world gives them; whether that be a disease, anxiety, or challenges. This faith may come from personal experience, stories, or as a witness from other experience. There are some who find their faith has power over their life and therefore create a peace around that understanding. There were foster parents that I trained in my first job out of undergrad, who did not want their foster children to be on psychotropic medication due to their beliefs. We attempted this out of respect, and followed up very soon after placement to find that they were open to trying psychotropic medication with the children in their care per doctors recommendation; this stemmed from the very aggressive behaviors asserted in the home around their biological children. They acknowledged the impact that chemical imbalance has on their behaviors. In coming from a strictly Biblical perspective, one can see that healing is possible. For mental health, there are some that find help through worship and prayer – another form of coping skill. I believe that it is important to be considerate of others beliefs and to be prepared to offer resources fitting to work alongside them in the way they choose to pursue treatment. Empowering the client in their strengths and environment continue to be a priority.

My impact of my personal views of religion and spirituality are impartial, as I am willing to engage with the client and meet them where they are without the influence of what I say influencing their decisions. I will uphold my personal spiritual boundaries and standards, by which allows me to maintain an open mind and work within the permissions their beliefs offer. I appreciate my studies in global and cultural studies allowing me to understand and empathize with various beliefs effectively. As Ebimgo states, religious beliefs and spiritual consciousness are important parts of our society today, and play an important role among relationships (2017). He goes on to suggest that this creates an environment where some may refuse medical treatment, not visit some places, refuse to sing certain anthems, marry certain people, and more, due to their own system of beliefs (Ebimgo, 2017). Though some social workers may turn down cases due to their personal set of beliefs and values, I believe this is not something I could partake in. Having attended a Christian University for undergraduate study of social work, I experienced many individual insights on how social work and beliefs play into care and health perceptions. My coursework was taught on a Biblical foundation, that I found very insightful and helpful for future practice. As a social worker, my role lies within the competencies of supporting and empowering my client for their benefit of treatment. Studying global studies and anthropology as a minor aided, and continues to aid me, in knowing what it is like to live in a different culture, and the expectations in such. As in many parts of life for a social worker and their client, it is important to maintain a competency in values and sources so as to be most effective for the client and their unique situation and needs. Understanding a client holds to a certain set of beliefs offers a strength to them that enables them to have a certain purpose, meaning, satisfaction, and structure (Ebimgo, 2017). Further, as Kvarfordt emphasizes, as a professional in the helping profession, we are always able to recommend to our clients to be expressive in their beliefs in forms such as art, music, writing, filmmaking, or other creative avenues (2018). I find it appreciated when I encourage my clients to discuss their beliefs and appropriately challenge them on how this is impacting them and their environment.


Ebimgo, S., Agwu, P. & Okoye, U. (2017)). Spirituality and religion in social work In Okoye, U., Chukwu, N. & Agwu, P. (Eds.). Social work in Nigeria: Book of readings (pp 93-103). Nsukka: University of Nigeria Press Ltd.

Kvarfordt, C., L & Herba, K. (2018). Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents: A Survey of Canadian Practitioners. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 35(2), 153-167.…

Oxhandler, H.K., Parrish, D.E., Torres, L.R., & Achenbaum, W.A. (2015). The Integration of Clients’ Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice: A National Survey. Social Work, 60(3), 228-237.…

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