Roles of religiousness and spirituality in medical rehabilitation and the lives of persons with disabilities

Lynn Underwood-Gordon, David Jesse Peters, Polly Bijur, Marcus Fuhrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


There is growing recognition among medical rehabilitation practitioners and researchers of the potentially important role played by spirituality and religion in the lives of people with disabilities, but little systematic research has been devoted to this role. A number of commentaries suggest that religion and spirituality may be underused resources in the rehabilitation process and in the ongoing lives of persons with disabilities. A conference entitled `The Role of Spirituality and Religiousness in Rehabilitation and the Lives of Persons with Disabilities' was conducted in Bethesda, Maryland, in May 1995 to identify a research agenda that needs to be addressed. Co-organizers and sponsors of the conference were the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (located organizationally within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health) and the Fetzer Institute. This meeting brought together academic researchers from a diverse range of disciplines (psychology, ethics, epidemiology, rehabilitation medicine, and anthropology), together with clergy and people with disabilities who are researchers, clergy, or advocates. The goals of the meeting were to review the work in the field, provide an opportunity for dialogue among a variety of disciplines, attain a greater conceptual clarity of the different dimensions involved, and develop a research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)[d]255-257
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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