Religiosity, Religious Coping Styles, and Health Service Use: RACIAL DIFFERENCES AMONG ELDERLY WOMEN

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

This study explored racial differences in the effects of religiosity and religious coping styles on health service use. The sample (N = 274) consisted of a cross-section of women ages 55 and older living in publicly subsidized high-rise dwellings in Nashville, Tennessee (1999 to 2000) and included 159 White and 115 African American women. The results suggested the effects of religiosity on health service use are generally negative for both groups. However, the effects of religious coping styles on health service use differed by race. The self-directing coping style was associated with higher levels of use for White women, but with lower levels of use for African American women. The deferring coping style was associated with greater physician visits and inpatient days among White women, but with fewer inpatient days among African American women. The collaborative coping style was associated with higher inpatient days among African American women, but had no significant effect on use patterns for White women. Conducting assessments of religiosity and religious coping styles would enhance holistic nursing practice.

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