Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction

James A. Blumenthal, Michael A. Babyak, Gail Ironson, Carl Thoresen, Lynda Powell, Susan Czajkowski, Matthew Burg, Francis J. Keefe, Patrick Steffen, Diane Catellier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prospective relationship between spiritual experiences and health in a sample of patients surviving an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with depression or low social support. METHODS: A subset of 503 patients participating in the enhancing recovery in coronary heart disease (ENRICHD) trial completed a Daily Spiritual Experiences (DSE) questionnaire within 28 days from the time of their AMI. The questionnaire assessed three spirituality variables-worship service/church attendance, prayer/meditation, and total DSE score. Patients also completed the Beck Depression Inventory to assess depressive symptoms and the ENRICHD Social Support Inventory to determine perceived social support. The sample was subsequently followed prospectively every 6 months for an average of 18 months to assess all-cause mortality and recurrent AMI. RESULTS: Of the 503 participants who completed the DSE questionnaire at the time of index AMI, 61 (12%) participants either died or sustained a recurrent MI during the follow-up period. After adjustment for gender, education level, ethnicity, and a composite medical prognosis risk score derived specifically for the ENRICHD trial, we observed no relationship between death or nonfatal AMI and total spirituality as measured by the DSE (p = .446), worship service attendance (p = .120), or frequency of prayer/meditation (p = .679). CONCLUSION: We found little evidence that self-reported spirituality, frequency of church attendance, or frequency of prayer is associated with cardiac morbidity or all-cause mortality post AMI in patients with depression and/or low perceived support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Volume69
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Keywords

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Depression
  • Religion
  • Social support
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

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    Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M. A., Ironson, G., Thoresen, C., Powell, L., Czajkowski, S., Burg, M., Keefe, F. J., Steffen, P., & Catellier, D. (2007). Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction. Psychosomatic medicine, 69(6), 501-508. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3180cab76c