Spirituality and religion in antiretroviral therapy (ART) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a longitudinal study

SOURCE: Journal of Psychology in Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2011
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer
KEYWORDS: ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY, HIV/AIDS, KWAZULU-NATAL, RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY, STIGMATISATION
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7010

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Abstract

This study assesses the effects of spirituality and religion in health outcomes of patients on ART in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Participants were 735 patients who attended three HIV clinics for ART over a period of 20 months as follows: 519 after 6 months on antiretroviral therapy (ART), 557 after 12 and 499 after 20 months on ART. They completed the Duke Religion Index each visit. Factors associated with spirituality/religiousness included fewer mental health problems (lower depressive symptoms, lower alcohol use), CD4 cell counts, adherence to ART, better certain health related quality of life outcomes (physical, psychological and environmental), social support and internalized HIV/AIDS stigma. Further research could examine the feasibility of including spirituality and religion in the assessment and providing support interventions for HIV patients.