This project aims to answer the following question: What are the causal linkages between religion and physical and mental health among elderly in a predominantly Muslim and multicultural community?
Religion has been shown to have a salutary effect on health. However, there are very few longitudinal and qualitative studies that address the causal linkages between religion and health. In addition, most of the studies were conducted in predominantly Christian populations. There is also a paucity of studies conducted in populations of other religions, such as Islam.
A longitudinal study of 6,237 elderly will be conducted. Quantitative data will be collected once a year for two years through household survey and health screening. After baseline data collection, thirty participants with high and low scores in religiosity will be selected for In-depth interviews to examine how religions influence their physical and mental health.
The concrete deliverables of this project include publication at peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, and reports to the District Office and the Ministry of Health.
The project will help to identify how religion is beneficial to health among Muslims and set the stage to the development of health intervention that integrate religion/spirituality.