Interdependence of mind, body and spirit is a focal point
of our approach to healthcare research. Historically, healthcare research focused
on observable outcomes such as an individual's access to medical care or response
to medications. However, those measures often fail to address subjective measures,
such as an individual's perceptions of illness.
Our 1997 Meaning in Life study used a self-report method
in assessing individuals with multiple sclerosis. Information obtained from the
study related functional status, coping responses, social support, and religious
orientation to the concept of Meaning in Life or "the extent to which the individual
determined their life was worth living."