X You may need to Reload the page to make it work correctly.
Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Biobehavioral Pathways That Mediate the Effects of Spirituality and Religion on Health

by Patrick McNamara, PhD 3 CE Credits

As investigations into health associations of ‘spirituality’ proceed apace, it has become apparent that many people use spirituality to cope with illness. Further, these individuals often wish medical practitioners to, at least, respect these coping strategies, if not to discuss them with patients. Thus, healthcare professionals may wish to familiarize themselves with major themes in the literature on spirituality and health such as the evidence implicating particular biobehavioral pathways in mediating the effects of spirituality on health, assessment tools to assess spiritual coping strategies and guidelines for discussing spirituality with patients who wish to do so. Toward that end, this course will discuss each of these points in turn and present a summary of the evidence suggesting that spirituality can be associated with both beneficial and negative effects on health.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Psychosocial Models of Religion’s Impact on Health
  • Religion and the Frontal Lobes
  • Basic Mechanics of Frontal Lobe Function
  • Frontal Lobes and Religious Cognition
  • Clinical Guidelines for Assessment and Care
  • Summary
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Articulate two prominent themes that emerge from current biobehavioral studies of religion’s effects on health.
  • Identify one proven biobehavioral pathway that mediates religion’s effects on health including effects that enhance health outcomes and effects that impede health-related outcomes.
  • Utilize at least three available assessment tools to measure religiosity/spirituality in patients.
  • Recognize two potential barriers/facilitators to discussing the health-related effects of spirituality and religious coping strategies with patients in the medical context.