University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Spirituality and Medicine


Elyse Watkins, DHSc PA-C DFAAPA


Based on a systematic literature review, this article evaluates the association between regular religious service attendance and all-cause mortality in the United States. A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms “religion,” “health,” and “mortality.” The review demonstrated a positive association between self-reported regular attendance in a religious community and a lower incidence of all-cause mortality. Regular participation in religious community activities is associated with an all-cause decrease in mortality and can thus be viewed as an additional social determinant of health (SDH). As the rate of U.S. religious community participation declines, its effect on mortality rates will likely diminish. Regular participation in a spiritual community, within the bounds of cultural sensitivity, should be encouraged.


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