Religion: Antidote for Healthcare Workers' Despair?
By Elizabeth Hlavinka
From MedPage Today May 6, 2020
Faith and connectedness may make providers feel more hopeful, resilient
Compared with providers who did not attend religious services, nurses and physicians who regularly attended services had a lower risk of dying from drug or alcohol overdose or overuse, or suicide, collectively referred to as "deaths from despair," researchers reported.
..."Although this term was originally coined in the context of working class Americans struggling with employment, despair can confront anyone dealing with hard times," Chen told MedPage Today. "For example, among healthcare professionals, the suicide rate is almost twice as high as the general population, and they have been confronted with chronic burnout and excessive job demand, which may be especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic."
This study is a "clever" way at looking at how participating in organized religious services, which can facilitate social integration, encourage healthy behaviors, and provide a sense of meaning and purpose, may be a source of hope and resilience for this population, wrote Marino Bruce, PhD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and co-authors in an accompanying editorial.