Spiritual care may impact mental health and medication adherence in HIV+ populations
Received 1 November 2016
Accepted for publication 7 March 2017
Published 28 April 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 101—109
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya
Valerie U Oji,1–3 Leslie C Hung,3 Reza Abbasgholizadeh,1,4 Flora Terrell Hamilton,5 E James Essien,6 Evaristus Nwulia7
1Lifefountain Center Ministries Inc, Houston, TX, USA; 2Feik School of Pharmacy, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX, USA; 3University of Texas, College of Pharmacy, Austin, TX, USA; 4University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA; 5Administration, Family & Medical Counseling Service, Inc. (FMCS), Washington, DC, USA; 6University of Houston Institute for Community Health, Houston, TX, USA; 7Psychiatry, Howard University Translational Neuroscience Laboratory, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: To explore a potential role for spirituality in medication-related needs assessment for integrated care in chronically ill populations.
Method: A systematic literature review was conducted to explore the impact of faith beliefs on health and/or medication adherence in individuals with depression and/or HIV+/AIDS. Retrospective electronic medical record review of adult HIV+ patients of an urban primary care clinic with integrated mental health services was conducted, with Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Symptoms Screener (SAMISS), major depressive disorder (MDD) incidence over the preceding year, and history of contact with a spiritual advisor. A convenience sample was interviewed to qualitatively assess potential medication therapy management needs and medication-related problems. Another sample was examined utilizing the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale.
Results: The literature reports positive influence on health behaviors, coping and outcomes; and poor medication adherence and treatment decisions due to patient passivity or resistance. Spiritual advisor contact (not limited to a specific religion) was significantly associated with MDD absence (1.7% vs. 15.3%, P<0.005) and inversely related to SAMISS, depression, and poor health behaviors. Patient interviews reflected significance of faith in terms of insight and acceptance of illness, the role or need for medications, coping, and medication adherence. An illustrative model was designed based on the literature and data collection.
Conclusion: Spiritual assessment may help identify positive or negative influence on health. Spiritual interventions could be beneficial in promoting adherence and positive health outcomes. Further research is recommended.
Keywords: HIV+/AIDS, mental illness, depression, spirituality and health, African Americans
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