Religious Faith, Spirituality, and Health Communication: A Special Issue of Health Communication

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A primary premise of this special issue is that religious faith and spirituality comprise an integral component of lay discourse and lay theories associated with health. The articles included in this collection begin to fill a void and--at the same time--illustrate a role health communication fulfills within the behavioral sciences, emphasizing how everyday people make sense of health conditions in their daily living. Following the introduction, the next paper provides an integrated synthesis of the ways and means that religious faith and spirituality have been assessed, primarily through use of quantitative measures. The next two articles utilize instruments discussed in the previous review. The remaining papers utilize qualitative methods to begin to address the absence of specific understanding regarding religious faith and health communication, answering the challenge to health communicators to enrich the field through greater use of such methodological approaches to inquiry.