Interest in Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy Among Acute Psychiatric Patients

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Objective: Spiritually integrated psychotherapy (SIP) is increasingly common, though systematic assessment of interest in such treatments, and predictors of such interest, has not yet been conducted among acute psychiatric patients. Methods: We conducted a survey with 253 acute psychiatric patients (95–99% response rate) at a private psychiatric hospital in Eastern Massachusetts to assess for interest in SIP, religious affiliation, and general spiritual or religious involvement alongside clinical and demographic factors. Results: More than half (58.2%) of patients reported “fairly” or greater interest in SIP, and 17.4% reported “very much” interest. Demographic and clinical factors were not significant predictors except that current depression predicted greater interest. Religious affiliation and general spiritual or religious involvement were associated with more interest; however, many affiliated patients reported low or no interest (42%), and conversely many unaffiliated patients reported “fairly” or greater interest (37%). Conclusions: Many acute psychiatric patients, particularly individuals with major depression, report interest in integrating spirituality into their mental health care. Assessment of interest in SIP should be considered in the context of clinical care.

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