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Religion and Spirituality in Surgery 

Religion and Spirituality in Surgery
Chapter:
Religion and Spirituality in Surgery
Author(s):

John Tarpley

and Margaret Tarpley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190272432.003.0007
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date: 24 May 2020

The influence of religion and spirituality (R/S) on surgeons dates back to the early history of modern surgery and continues into the 21st century. Research topics include intercessory prayer (IP), social cohesion, coping strategies, the role of chaplains and other clergy or faith leaders, and communal activities such as worship. While evidence for benefits of practices such as IP are inconclusive, patients involved in R/S activities or who hold R/S beliefs appear to have improved coping skills and quality of life (QOL). Although R/S has proven value for patients and surgeons, lack of R/S training is a barrier to surgeon involvement in addressing R/S issues such as operative procedures, treatment plans, organ donation, and end-of-life (EOL) situations. Increased training at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate medical levels concerning R/S would provide surgeons and physician colleagues with skills and greater comfort in discussing these issues with patients and families. .

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