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Abstract

We examined the relationship between religiosity and well elders' perceived health status and sociopsychologic well-being. A random sample of 380 residents of specialized housing units for seniors participated in a face-to-face structured interview. Ninety-four percent agreed that religion was important in their lives. For those with adequate health and functional status, church or synagogue attendance was vitally important. As more symptoms were reported, personal religious practices increased, including frequency of prayer and listening to religious programs, as well as the importance of religious beliefs. Religious practices and beliefs may serve as a coping mechanism to deal with life's problems and/or as a social network and source of social support. The public health nurse's assessment of this aspect and its importance to older clients allows for the development of appropriate interventions that may mediate positive health and well-being.