Spirituality and Health Research

Methods, Measurement, Statistics, and Resources

Harold G. Koenig

In Spirituality and Health Research: Methods, Measurement, Statistics, and Resources, Dr. Harold G. Koenig leads a comprehensive overview of this complex subject. Dr. Koenig is one of the world’s leading authorities on the relationship between spirituality and health, and a leading researcher on the topic. As such, he is distinctively qualified to author such a book.

This unique source of information on how to conduct research on religion, spirituality, and health includes practical information that goes well beyond what is typically taught in most undergraduate, graduate, or even post-doctoral level courses. This volume reviews what research has been done, discusses the strengths and limitations of that research, provides a research agenda for the future that describes the most important studies that need to be done to advance the field, and describes how to actually conduct that research (design, statistical analysis, and publication of results). It also covers practical matters such as how to write fundable grants to support the research, where to find sources of funding support for research in this area, and what can be done even if the researcher has little or no funding support.

The information gathered together here, which has been reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by research design and statistical experts, has been acquired during a span of over twenty-five years that Dr. Koenig spent conducting research, reviewing others’ research, reviewing research grants, and interacting with mainstream biomedical researchers both within and outside the field of spirituality and health. The material is presented in an easy to read and readily accessible form that will benefit researchers at almost any level of training and experience.

Preface / ix

Acknowledgments / xi

Introduction / 3

Part 1: Overview

1. Overview of the Research / 13

2. Strengths, Weaknesses, and Challenges / 29

3. A Research Agenda for the Field / 47

Part 2: Methods and Design

4. Identifying a Research Question / 75

5. Choosing a Research Design / 85

6. Selecting a Sample / 97

7. Qualitative Research / 115

8. Observational Research / 129

9. Clinical Trials / 149

10. Clinical Trials with Religious Interventions / 171

Part 3: Measurement

11. Definitions / 193

12. Measurement I 207

13. Measurement II / 219

Part 4: Statistical Analyses and Modeling

14. Statistics I: General Considerations / 237

15. Statistics II: Statistical Tests and Approaches / 253

16. Confounders, Explanatory Variables, and Moderators / 289

17. Models and Mechanisms / 309

18. Statistical Modeling / 327

Part 5: Publishing and Funding Resources

19. Publishing Results / 347

20. Funding for Research / 367

21. Writing a Grant / 385

Final Thoughts / 405

Notes / 409

Glossary / 433

Index / 441