Spirituality and Health in Brazil: A Survey Snapshot of Research Groups

Mary Rute Gomes Esperandio


Articles on “Spirituality and Health” have multiplied considerably in Brazil in the last decade. More recently, however, research groups created specifically to investigate this topic have emerged. This study aims to provide an overview of the field by means of a survey in the Directory of Research Groups in Brazil. Thirty-three groups were initially identified, of which 16 were selected for analysis and placed into two categories: “established” groups and lines of research, and “in-process” groups and lines of research. The survey made it possible to identify postgraduate programs that develop studies on this theme, the main researchers, and the potentials and challenges of this research field in Brazil. The results also indicate that “Spirituality and Health” is a fundamentally interdisciplinary field of research that is expanding and has gained greater legitimacy in the scientific community in the last four years. The main challenges to and potentials for advancement of knowledge are the need for theoretical and methodological development to support research, educational improvement in spiritual care, development of a critical and conscious reflection on the political implications of the field (especially due to the religious diversity in the Brazilian cultural context), and the role of spirituality/religiosity in public health promotion policies.

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