i’m in the middle of writing a lit review on the issues and concerns w/ extending the religion-health research to nontheistic minorities.
so far the literature supporting the religion/spirituality-health connection is full of methodological gaps that imho seriously undermine the validity of the claim - esp. when it comes to differentiating the “affirmatively nonspiritual/secularist” from those whose beliefs are vague, uncommitted or transitional, or those who are experiencing a spiritual crisis as a result of some external trauma.
Two quick comments:
1. A former grad student of mine did a fairly extensive lit review on religiosity, anxiety, and anxiety disorders for my course on research synthesis; she also did a preliminary meta-analysis. I’d be glad to put you in touch with her if you’d like; just send me a private message.
2. If you plan to do any meta-analysis along the lines of a quantitative systematic review or research synthesis and would like help with the stats, let me know and I might be able to make some time. In fact, I just got the effect-size data from the following article and am going to re-analyze them when I have a chance (they’re messier than the reported article lets on, as is often the case with meta-analytic data):
Masters, K.S., Spielmans, G.I., & Goodson, J.T. (2006). Are there demonstrable effects of distant intercessory prayer? A meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 21-26.