Czech and Slovak Members of Religious Institutes: Their Health in Comparison to the General Population

Dana Jaksicova*, Lukas Novak, Vit Husek, Peter Tavel, Klara Malinakova

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study examines the general health of consecrated persons (CP) in the Czech Republic (CZ) and in Slovakia (SK) compared to control samples of the Czech population. The sample of 293 CP participants (age: M = 47.52, SD = 9.57, females: 78.88%, 180 Czechs, 213 Slovaks) was compared with two control samples, one of which was nationally representative. Comparing CP with the general population, we measured the frequency of recent health complaints, the occurrence of chronic illnesses, general health and the individual chronotype. Compared to the representative sample, CP had a higher chance of suffering from pelvis minor pain and obesity but a lower chance of diabetes. Furthermore, CP had higher odds of having worse general health. Comparing "larks" with "night owls" among CP, the "night owls" had a significantly higher chance of suffering from worse general health. "Night owl" CP also seem to suffer more from backache and depression/anxiety and to have more problems with falling asleep. Compared to the overall society, CP in CZ and SK tend to have similar or worse general health. The results differ from the findings in the US, pointing to the positive health effects of the spiritual experience and structured daily routine of CP. Thus, this study shows the importance of more detailed research on the way of life of Czech and Slovak CP to determine the factors with the most negative health effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9944
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 22-Sept-2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Czech Republic/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Public Health
  • Religion
  • Slovakia/epidemiology

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