Religious influences on preventive health care use in a nationally representative sample of middle-age women.

TitleReligious influences on preventive health care use in a nationally representative sample of middle-age women.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBenjamins, MReindl
JournalJ Behav Med
Date Published2006 Feb
ISSN Number0160-7715
Call Numberpubs_2006_BenjaminsJBM.pdf
KeywordsAged, Breast Self-Examination, Female, Health Behavior, Health Status Indicators, Health Surveys, Humans, Mammography, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Papanicolaou Test, Preventive Health Services, Religion and Medicine, Religion and Psychology, Social Support, Socioeconomic factors, United States, Utilization Review, Vaginal Smears

Despite the many benefits of preventive services, they are often underutilized. Social factors, such as religion, can figure prominently in these discrepancies by either creating barriers or facilitating use. Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS, 1992-1996), the current study examines the relationship between religious attendance, religious salience, and denomination and three types of female preventive services in a sample of middle-age women (N = 4253). Findings indicate that women who attend religious services more frequently use more mammograms, Pap smears, and self-breast exams. In addition, women belonging to Mainline Protestant or Jewish denominations use certain preventive services more than Evangelical Protestants. Finally, women with higher levels of religious salience are more likely to conduct self-breast exams. These findings add important information to the public health literature concerning factors that influence preventive service use. They also add to the growing field of religion and health research where preventive health care use is emerging as a possible mechanism linking religion to a wide variety of physical health outcomes.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

prevention/Health Care/Religiosity/Womens Health

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Behav Med
Citation Key7065
PubMed ID16397821