Being Spiritual Is Good for Your Heart

Medscape Staff

March 30, 2022

Heart failure patients’ quality of life improves as they become more spiritual, according to researchers at Duke University Hospital. 

What to Know:

  • Patients who have heart failure often face high levels of depression, anxiety and spiritual distress, which can lead to hopelessness, isolation, and altered self-image.

  • Spirituality is generally how individuals find meaning and purpose in life, which can be separate from religious beliefs.

  • Palliative care is recommended for heart failure patients and at its core is spiritual, with the goal of identifying and addressing spiritual concerns and providing patients with appropriate spiritual and religious resources.

  • Not only can spirituality improve quality of life for patients and lessen their depression, but it can also help support caregivers and potentially help keep heart failure patients from needing to be readmitted to the hospital.

  • Researchers are working to develop a spirituality screening tool, similar to ones used to screen for depression, that can help identify heart failure patients in palliative care who are at risk for spiritual distress.

This is a summary of the article “Spirituality can improve quality of life for heart failure patients,” published by The Journal of the American College of Cardiology on March 28, 2022. Article.

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