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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Religion and Health. The final authenticated version is available online at:


This study examines physicians’ beliefs, their perceptions of whether religion impacts health outcomes, and their propensity to discuss religion/spirituality with patients. It is not uncommon for patients to want religious/spiritual conversations, but the occurrence is infrequent. This study adds to knowledge regarding which physicians include these topics. Using a nationally representative sample of physicians and a mediated bi-factor structural equation model, the author finds that “religious and spiritual” physicians connect religion and patient health more than other religious/spiritual orientations. As a result, “religious and spiritual” physicians include religion/spirituality most often (indirect path). After this variation is accounted for, “spiritual but not religious” physicians still include this content, but the “religious but not spiritual” and “neither religious nor spiritual” physicians tend to avoid talking about religiosity/spirituality with patients.