↓ Skip to main content

Exploring the vagueness of Religion

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Palliative Care, September 2018
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (86th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
12 tweeters


30 Dimensions

Readers on

152 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Exploring the vagueness of Religion & Spirituality in complex pediatric decision-making: a qualitative study
Published in
BMC Palliative Care, September 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12904-018-0360-y
Pubmed ID

Alexandra K. Superdock, Raymond C. Barfield, Debra H. Brandon, Sharron L. Docherty


Medical advances have led to new challenges in decision-making for parents of seriously ill children. Many parents say religion and spirituality (R&S) influence their decisions, but the mechanism and outcomes of this influence are unknown. Health care providers (HCPs) often feel unprepared to discuss R&S with parents or address conflicts between R&S beliefs and clinical recommendations. Our study sought to illuminate the influence of R&S on parental decision-making and explore how HCPs interact with parents for whom R&S are important. A longitudinal, qualitative, descriptive design was used to (1) identify R&S factors affecting parental decision-making, (2) observe changes in R&S themes over time, and (3) learn about HCP perspectives on parental R&S. The study sample included 16 cases featuring children with complex life-threatening conditions. The length of study for each case varied, ranging in duration from 8 to 531 days (median = 380, mean = 324, SD = 174). Data from each case included medical records and sets of interviews conducted at least monthly with mothers (n = 16), fathers (n = 12), and HCPs (n = 108). Thematic analysis was performed on 363 narrative interviews to identify R&S themes and content related to decision-making. Parents from 13 cases reported R&S directly influenced decision-making. Most HCPs were unaware of this influence. Fifteen R&S themes appeared in parent and HCP transcripts. Themes most often associated with decision-making were Hope & Faith, God is in Control, Miracles, and Prayer. Despite instability in the child's condition, these themes remained consistently relevant across the trajectory of illness. R&S influenced decisions about treatment initiation, procedures, and life-sustaining therapy, but the variance in effect of R&S on parents' choices ultimately depended upon other medical & non-medical factors. Parents consider R&S fundamental to decision-making, but apply R&S concepts in vague ways, suggesting R&S impact how decisions are made more than what decisions are made. Lack of clarity in parental expressions of R&S does not necessarily indicate insincerity or underestimation of the seriousness of the child's prognosis; R&S can be applied to decision-making in both functional and dysfunctional ways. We present three models of how religious and spiritual vagueness functions in parental decision-making and suggest clinical applications.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 12 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 152 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 152 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 20 13%
Student > Master 17 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 9%
Researcher 10 7%
Student > Ph. D. Student 10 7%
Other 31 20%
Unknown 51 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 35 23%
Medicine and Dentistry 23 15%
Psychology 15 10%
Social Sciences 14 9%
Business, Management and Accounting 2 1%
Other 10 7%
Unknown 53 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 May 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,673,294 outputs
Outputs from BMC Palliative Care
of 893 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 282,463 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Palliative Care
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,673,294 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 893 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 10.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 282,463 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them