Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Thomas M. Lasater & Kim M. Gans
Throughout history, physical health has been a common component of the philosophy and the activities of religious organizations (ROs). However, as modern medicine emerged and intensive training and technology became the norm for the provider, medicine assumed more responsibility for physical health and ROs concentrated more on spiritual health. ROs did not ignore physical health, but their primary emphasis was on helping people with diseases to cope, rather than on disease prevention. As medicine continued to become more of a profession, the emphasis in ROs expanded to employing providers (e.g., parish nurses) or utilizing the RO facility as a clinic for medical care delivery. As public health shifted from a focus on behaviors related to infectious diseases (e.g., sanitation, immunizations) to a broader view of health-related lifestyle factors and prevention of chronic diseases, funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health began to include more funding for behavior change ...