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Integrative medicine, spirituality improves outcomes in urban adolescents with asthma
Date:4/14/2011

spiritual coping, secular coping, complementary alternative medicine use and other psychosocial, clinical and demographic variables.

In the spiritual struggles analyses, outcome variables included anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as quality of life. Researchers then determined the association between spiritual struggles and health outcomes after accounting for age, gender, ethnicity and asthma severity.

Those who were male African-Americans, experiencing more spiritual struggles and using more negative secular coping methods, had poorer quality of life.

In addition, researchers found that non-African-Americans, adolescents who struggled spiritually and adolescents with more severe disease had increased anxiety symptoms. Also, non-African-Americans and females had increased depressive symptoms.

"As hypothesized, religious or spiritual coping and secular coping predicted similar amounts of variance in these outcomes, similar to previous findings in adult populations, suggesting that spiritual coping is an important element to consider when caring for adolescents with asthma," Cotton says.

"These issues may be particularly relevant among urban African-American adolescents for whom religion and spirituality is especially important. Future studies should examine the effectiveness of interventions or screening efforts to address spiritual struggles in these populations."

In the second analysis, the same group of adolescents completed a survey looking at 10 forms of complementary and alternative medicine methods used for symptom management, including prayer, guided imagery, relaxation, meditation, yoga, massage, herbs, vitamins and rubs as well as dietary changes.

Eight-five percent of participants were African-American and 52 percent had persistent asthma.

"We asked how often they used these methods, if they would consider using any of these methods for symptom management, if they told th
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Contact: Katie Pence
katie.pence@uc.edu
513-558-4561
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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