Religion, spirituality, and HIV clinical outcomes: A systematic review of the literature


This systematic review evaluates the association between religion, spirituality and clinical outcomes in HIV-infected individuals. A systematic literature review was conducted for all English language articles published between 1980 and 2016 in relevant databases. Six hundred fourteen studies were evaluated. 15 met inclusion criteria. Ten (67%) studies reported a positive association between religion or spirituality and a clinical HIV outcome. Two (13%) studies failed to detect such an association; and two (13%) demonstrated a negative association. One study (7%) identified features of religiosity and spirituality that had both negative and positive associations with HIV clinical outcomes. Recognizing the religious or spiritual commitments of patients may serve as an important component of patient care. Further longitudinal studies and interventions might be required to further clarify the potential impact of religion and spirituality on HIV clinical outcomes.


Doolittle BR, Justice AC, Fiellin DA




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population


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