Advertisement

Religious Community Partnerships: a Novel Approach to Teaching Psychiatry Residents about Religious and Cultural Factors in the Mental Health Care of African-Americans

  • Faith R. Kelley
  • Gretchen L. Haas
  • Emily Felber
  • Michael J. Travis
  • Esa M. Davis
In Brief Report

Abstract

Objective

Promoting awareness in residency training about the influence of religion on the doctor’s and patient’s ability to negotiate a patient-centered treatment plan is challenging and yet important for improving the quality of mental health care for religious individuals. This paper aims to explore the use of community partners and non-psychiatry faculty to provide this education within psychiatry residency programs.

Methods

Fifty-one psychiatry residents at an academic psychiatric hospital took part in a 4-h interdisciplinary workshop aimed at improving doctors’ overall approach to treating African-American Christian patients. Community-based African-American clergy and mental health professionals, hospital-based psychiatrists, and primary care physicians facilitated educational sessions. A majority of the facilitators were African-American. A pre- and post-workshop survey was administered to measure change in participant attitudes and comfort levels associated with exposure to the workshop. Paired t tests on three subscales were used to calculate change in attitudes on pre- to post-workshop surveys.

Results

Resident scores on each of the three factor subscales increased significantly between pre- and post-workshop assessments: comfort in discussions with patients about spirituality [t [17] = 2.758; p = 0.013]; willingness to collaborate with clergy [t [16] = 3.776; p = 0.002]; and importance of religion to mental health [t [17] = 3.645; p = 0.002].

Conclusion

Findings suggest that collaboration between academic and community-based clergy, physicians, and other mental health providers may be a feasible method of improving psychiatry trainees’ comfort in addressing religion in psychiatric care to ultimately provide more culturally competent care.

Keywords

Evaluation Residents Cross-cultural psychiatry 

Notes

Funding Sources

This study was supported, in part, by the American Psychiatric Association/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (APA/SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship Program awarded to Dr. Faith Kelley.

Compliance with Ethical Standards/Ethical Consideration

The Institutional Review Board of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center approved the study procedures in advance and gave an “exempt” status. Study aims were explained to participants in advance and informed consent was obtained in writing before the workshop.

Disclosures

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. 1.
    Mental health: culture, race, and ethnicity: a supplement to mental health: a report of the surgeon general. Publications and Reports of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD)2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Koenig H, King, DE, Carson VB. Handbook of religion and health. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012. 1186 p.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J B. Psychiatry and religion: the convergence of mind and spirit (issues in Psychiatry). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press; 2000. 224 p.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nadeem E, Lange JM, Miranda J. Mental health care preferences among low-income and minority women. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2008;11(2):93–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chatters LM, Mattis JS, Woodward AT, Taylor R, Neighbors HW, Grayman NA. Use of ministers for a serious personal problem among African Americans: findings from the national survey of American life. Am J Orthop. 2011;81(1):118–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Borneman T, Ferrell B, Puchalski CM. Evaluation of the FICA tool for spiritual assessment. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2010;40(2):163–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harris HW, Felder D, Clark MO. A psychiatric residency curriculum on the care of African American patients. Acad Psychiatry. 2004;28(3):226–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Taylor RJ, Mattis J, Chatters LM. Subjective religiosity among African Americans: a synthesis of findings from five national samples. J Black Psychology. 1999;25:524–43.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Curlin FA, Lawrence RE, Odell S, Chin MH, Lantos JD, Koenig HG, et al. Religion, spirituality, and medicine: psychiatrists’ and other physicians’ differing observations, interpretations, and clinical approaches. Am J Psychiatry. 2007;164(12):1825–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cooper-Patrick L, Powe NR, Jenckes MW, Gonzales JJ, Levine DM, Ford DE. Identification of patient attitudes and preferences regarding treatment of depression. J Gen Intern Med. 1997;12(7):431–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Levin J, Chatters LM, Taylor RJ. Religion, health and medicine in African Americans: implications for physicians. J Natl Med Assoc. 2005;97(2):237–49.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Campbell N, Stuck C, Frinks L. Spirituality training in residency: changing the culture of a program. Acad Psychiatry. 2012;36(1):56–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lennon-Dearing R, Florence JA, Halvorson H, Pollard JT. An interprofessional educational approach to teaching spiritual assessment. J Health Care Chaplain. 2012;18(3–4):121–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Awaad R, Ali S, Salvador M, Bandstra BA. A Process-oriented approach to teaching religion and spirituality in psychiatry residency training. Acad Psychiatry. 2015;39(6):654–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Frazier M, Schnell K, Baillie S, Stuber ML. Chaplain rounds: a chance for medical students to reflect on spirituality in patient-centered care. Acad Psychiatry. 2015;39(3):320–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kozak L, Boynton L, Bentley J, Bezy E. Introducing spirituality, religion and culture curricula in the psychiatry residency programme. Med Humanit. 2010;36(1):48–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Grabovac A, Ganesan S. Spirituality and religion in Canadian psychiatric residency training. Can J Psychiatr. 2003;48:171–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    McGovern TF, McMahon T, Nelson J, Bundoc-Baronia R, Giles C, Schmidt V. A descriptive study of a spirituality curriculum for general psychiatry residents. Acad Psychiatry 2017; 41(4): 471–476.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kligler B, Koithan M, Maizes V, Hayes M, Schneider C, Lebensohn P, et al. Competency-based evaluation tools for integrative medicine training in family medicine residency: a pilot study. BMC Med Educ. 2007;18(7):7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Children’s National Health SystemWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.VA Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. ConsortiumPalo AltoUSA

Personalised recommendations