Associations remain inconclusive between religiosity and spirituality on medication adherence in cardiovascular disease

1. There was a significant association (positive or negative depending on demographic factors) between religiosity and spirituality (R/S) and medication adherence in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

2. However, this systematic review found that there were no studies reporting on acute cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, or myocardial infarction.

Level of evidence assessment: 1 (Excellent)

Cardiovascular disease is associated with polypharmacy and approximately 50% of patients do not adhere to their medications, which in turn leads to poorer outcomes. R/S aims to approach treatment in a holistic way that can benefit patients with such conditions. Previous studies have reported a relationship between R/S and medication adherence in patients diagnosed with CVD; however, none of them has been a full systematic review. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to summarize the literature on the relationship between R/S and treatment adherence in patients with CVD.

Of 417 records reviewed, 11 studies were included from August 2018 to September 2018. Studies were included if they measured both patient R/S and medication adherence. Studies were excluded if they were not related to research. Quality assessment was performed using the Crowe Critical Appraisal Tool (CCAT). The results of the study were synthesized using a qualitative narrative synthesis. The tools used to measure R/S and medication adherence varied.

The results demonstrated that there was a significant association (positive or negative depending on demographic factors) between religiosity and spirituality (R/S) and medication adherence in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition, no studies reported on acute cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, angina pectoris, or myocardial infarction. However, this study was limited by the inclusion of studies conducted primarily in the United States, which may not be representative of all religious affiliations. Despite this, the findings of this review provided insights into what is known in the literature, which will help to further explore the influence of R/S on patients’ medication adherence.

Click to read the study in Journal of Religion and Health

Picture: PD

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