Original Publication
Open Access

Critical Synthesis Package: Duke University Religion Index (DUREL)

Published: October 23, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9586

Included in this publication:

  • Critical Analysis of the Duke University Religion Index.pdf
  • DUREL Instrument.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This Critical Synthesis Package contains: (1) a Critical Analysis of the psychometric properties and the application to health science education of the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL), and (2) a copy of the DUREL and the scoring instructions developed by Harold Koenig, MD.

The DUREL is a self-administered measure with five items divided into three subscales of Organizational Religious Activity (ORA), Non-Organizational Religious Activity (NORA), and Intrinsic Religiosity (IR). The response options are presented along 6-point (ORA, NORA) and 5-point (IR) Likert-type scales. The subscales are intended to be examined independently, with higher scores indicating greater ORA, NORA, and IR. The DUREL has been validated in clinical and community samples. Studies in medical education have found the DUREL scores to be related to medical student, resident, and educator beliefs about utilizing spirituality and religion in health care. However, studies of primary care residents have not found DUREL scores to be related to resident well-being. Furthermore, the DUREL was designed to assess religiosity in Western religions and may be less accurate assessing religiosity in Eastern religions, and despite its translation numerous languages, it does not appear that the DUREL has been utilized with Eastern religion samples. Although the DUREL may be useful as a broad measure of religiosity, other measures are recommended for more in-depth assessment of religiosity and spirituality.

Educational Objectives

  1. To describe the purpose and basic properties of the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL), including the number of items and scales, and psychometric properties;
  2. To describe the application of the DUREL to the field of health sciences education;
  3. To evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the DUREL; and
  4. To provide the DUREL and supplemental materials to aid in its administration.

Author Information

  • Kathleen Young, PhD, MPH: University of Mississippi School of Medicine
  • Molly Clark, PhD: University of Mississippi Medical Center

None to report.

None to report.


Young K, Clark M. Critical Synthesis Package: Duke University Religion Index (DUREL). MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9586. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9586