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Durham University

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Publication details

Cook, Christopher C.H. (2017). Spirituality and Religion in Psychiatry: The Impact of Policy. Mental Health, Religion and Culture 20(6): 589-594.

Author(s) from Durham


Research and debate on the importance of spirituality and religion in psychiatry has led to a number of national and international policy initiatives, intended to clarify the boundaries of good practice and improve the way in which such matters are managed for the benefit of patients. Significant amongst these is the 2015 position statement of the World Psychiatric Association, the only such policy statement to date which has been internationally agreed. Preliminary evidence available suggests that this is having good effect in generating professional debate and further national policy initiatives in different countries. There is a need for further research on such policy initiatives to confirm whether or not they have the intended impact upon clinical practice and whether or not this in turn is beneficial for patients.