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Most Psychiatrists Open to Discussing Spiritual Concerns
Date:12/27/2007

out religion in the first place? Sloan, who's written skeptically about the study of religion's role in medicine, said it can be appropriate in certain contexts.

"You need to know what characteristics of your patients might interfere with your ability to treat them well," Sloan said. Patients who are fasting during Ramadan, for example, might not be able to take four doses of a pill per day.

"The concern that I have is a number of physicians who go way beyond what's necessary and run the risk of manipulating their patients, even coercing them, invading their privacy, taking on spiritual matters as objects of intervention," he said. According to Sloan, appropriate inquiries are fine, but proselytizing has no place in the doctor's office

More information

For more on spirituality and health, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine .



SOURCES: Farr Curlin, M.D., assistant professor, medicine, University of Chicago; Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D., professor, behavioral medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; December 2007, The American Journal of Psychiatry


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