Sunday, August 27, 2017

Spirituality and chronic disease


Chronic illness is a topic of great interest to me. I was a caregiver for my wife Bobbie who had four different cancers over a 21 year period before her death. The remission times didn't mean you were necessarily free of the disease since she reported to the oncologist and other physicians frequently. She became a diabetic following the first cancer. That qualified her for sure.

Chronic illness is out in the community. Figures some time ago from the American Hospital Association read that 65% of those over 65 had one or more chronic conditions. Hazleton in Minnesota says 85% if you count mental illness and addiction. Health care is out in the community. I like to say, we are all on the front lines of the health care delivery system. We generate health care every day in our everyday conversations in the way we listen. Improvement and more self awareness is needed regarding listening to the stories we hear.

I pulled this up from my archives. My brother forwarded this in 2009. In the weeks ahead I will say more about Otto Scharmer's book Presence. He has a listening model as I do, his is more comprehensive. My model is more focused as the art of story metaphor listening. I encourage people to focus on the metaphors they hear in the stories. And as the metaphor changes so does the story.

The article: 

This week, there was yet two more studies that support that faith can help with disease:

Two recent studies, led by Michael Yi, MD, associate professor of medicine, and Sian Cotton, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of family medicine, investigated how adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—a condition characterized by chronic inflammation in the intestines—may use spirituality to cope with their illness.

These results were published in online versions of the Journal of Pediatrics and the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Spirituality is defined as one’s sense of meaning or purpose in life or one’s sense of connectedness to the sacred or divine.

       Note:  In Otto Scharmer’s terms as detailed in Chapter 8 of Presence, “sense of meaning and purpose” would be a level 3, and
       “connectedness” would be a level 4.  This is also similar tothe distinction Dante draws in his letter to his patron on how to read
       the Divine Comedy. "Sense of meaning and purpose" would the the allegorical level of interpretation, and "connectedness"
       would be the anagogical or transformational.  rdw
. . .

Teams led by Yi and Cotton collected data on socio-demographics, functional health status and psychosocial characteristics as well as spiritual well-being for 67 patients with IBD and 88 healthy adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19.

He adds that researchers also found that one of the most important predictors of poorer overall quality of life was having a poorer sense of spiritual well-being.

Cotton’s analysis of the same 155 adolescents focused on the relationships between levels of spiritual well-being and mental health outcomes in the adolescents with IBD as compared to their healthy peers.

Levels of spiritual well-being were similar between adolescents with IBD and healthy peers. In addition, higher levels of spiritual well-being were associated with fewer depressive symptoms and better emotional well-being.

 “However, even though both healthy adolescents and those with IBD had relatively high levels of spiritual well-being, the positive association between spiritual well-being and mental health outcomes was stronger in the adolescents with IBD as compared to their healthy peers,” Cotton says, noting that this indicates spiritual well-being may play a different role for teens with a chronic illness in terms of impacting their health or helping them cope. 

Read it all here. 

Posted by Chuck Blanchard on January 11, 2009 3:00 PM |

Marlin Whitmer

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