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Association of religiosity and spirituality with quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease: a systematic review
Quantitative Health Sciences Publications and Presentations
  • Hawa Abu, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Christine M. Ulbricht, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Eric Y. Ding, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jeroan J. Allison, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, Brown University
  • Robert J. Goldberg, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Catarina I. Kiefe, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research
Publication Date
Document Type

Purpose: This review systematically identified and critically appraised the available literature that has examined the association between religiosity and/or spirituality (R/S) and quality of life (QOL) in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Methods: We searched several electronic online databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, PsycINFO, and CINAHL) from database inception until October 2017. Included articles were peer-reviewed, published in English, and quantitatively examined the association between R/S and QOL. We assessed the methodological quality of each included study.

Results: The 15 articles included were published between 2002 and 2017. Most studies were conducted in the US and enrolled patients with heart failure. Sixteen dimensions of R/S were assessed with a variety of instruments. QOL domains examined were global, health-related, and disease-specific QOL. Ten studies reported a significant positive association between R/S and QOL, with higher spiritual well-being, intrinsic religiousness, and frequency of church attendance positively related with mental and emotional well-being. Approximately half of the included studies reported negative or null associations.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher levels of R/S may be related to better QOL among patients with CVD, with varying associations depending on the R/S dimension and QOL domain assessed. Future longitudinal studies in large patient samples with different CVDs and designs are needed to better understand how R/S may influence QOL. More uniformity in assessing R/S would enhance the comparability of results across studies. Understanding the influence of R/S on QOL would promote a holistic approach in managing patients with CVD.

  • Religiosity,
  • Spirituality,
  • Quality of life,
  • Global QOL,
  • Health-related QOL,
  • Cardiovascular disease
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© The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
DOI of Published Version

Qual Life Res. 2018 Nov;27(11):2777-2797. doi: 10.1007/s11136-018-1906-4. Epub 2018 Jun 11. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Hawa Abu, Christine M. Ulbricht, Eric Y. Ding, Jeroan J. Allison, et al.. "Association of religiosity and spirituality with quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease: a systematic review" Vol. 27 Iss. 11 (2018)
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