Across the globe, leaders in complementary and integrative medicine are focusing more attention on spirituality and religious practices as a resource for patients with chronic diseases, according to a presentation at the 2009 North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine, held in Minneapolis, May 12–15, 2009. Top research centers on the relationship between spirituality and health include the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina; the Canadian Research Institute of Spirituality & Healing in Vancouver, British Columbia; and the Transdisciplinary Working Group on Spirituality and Health at the University of Witten, in Germany.
The growth of research centers internationally is significant because the role of spirituality cannot be separated from its cultural context. With diverse research on spirituality from around the world, researchers can begin examining different concepts of spirituality, different attitudes toward its use to support health, and the objections against using spirituality within particular medical systems. Broader awareness across cultures will allow for deeper understanding of similarities and differences in how spirituality enhances healthy living.
For more information on these centers, go to the following websites: