The Role of Patient Religiosity in the Evaluation and Treatment Outcomes for Chronic HCV Infection
Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, BCM 620, Houston, TX, 77030, USA, . Journal of Religion and Health
(Impact Factor: 1.02).
03/2011; 52(1). DOI: 10.1007/s10943-011-9455-y
To determine the influence of patient religiosity on the outcome of treatment of hepatitis C infection, a prospective, blinded, cohort study was performed on hepatitis C-infected patients categorized as 'higher religiosity' and 'lower religiosity' based on responses to a religiosity questionnaire. Comparisons were made between high and low religiosity patients on demographics, pre-treatment laboratory values, and response to treatment. Eighty-seven patients with complete questionnaires were placed in either higher (38) or lower (49) religiosity cohort. The patients (60% female) were ethnically diverse: African-American 39%; Hispanic 31%; white 29%. African-American race (P = 0.001) and female gender (P = 0.026) were associated with higher religiosity. The frequency of being offered treatment, accepting treatment, and completing treatment was similar in both religiosity cohorts (P = 0.234, 0.809, 0.367). Fifty-six patients completed the 24- or 48-week treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin. Depression was more frequent in the low religiosity group (38.2% vs. 4.6%, P = 0.005). Sustained viral response rate at 3-6-month post-therapy was similar in the higher (50%) and lower (57.6%) religiosity cohorts (P = 0.580; n = 55). Logistic regression modeling revealed that males having higher religiosity gave greater odds of SVR than those with lower religiosity (OR 21.3; 95% CI 1.1-403.9). The level of religiosity did not affect the decision to begin treatment for chronic HCV infection and was not associated with a better treatment outcome. A higher level of religiosity was associated with less depression among patients.
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