Assessing religious faith in medical patients: Cross-validation of the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire

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Growing attention has focused on the relationship between religiosity and health outcomes. However, research has been constrained by the limited availability of measures suitable for use with medical patients. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire (SCSORF) in two well-defined samples of medical patients, representing a range of illness severity: 1) 175 women seen at a gynecology clinic; and 2) 104 cancer patients treated at a bone marrow transplantation program. Evidence for convergent validity was demonstrated by moderately high correlations with other measures of religious involvement. Divergent validity was demonstrated by small associations with social desirability. The measure was not strongly associated with demographic background or medical variables. Modest correlations with conceptually-related measures commonly used in health research (e.g., social support, optimism, existential meaning, purpose in life) further supported the divergent validity of the instrument. Results suggest that this may be a useful, concise measure for assessing religious involvement in medical patients.