Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. In this randomized controlled trial, participants had high scores for past-year religiosity and lifetime religiosity.

2. Furthermore, in the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment group, religiosity was associated with a longer duration of abstinence

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Latinx adults with substance use disorders are at high risk for dropout and often report treatment dissatisfaction. Spirituality and religion have been identified as factors related to substance use treatment outcomes; however, they have rarely been studied among Latinx populations. As a result, the objective of the present study was to assess the relationship between past-year religiosity scores and treatment outcomes in the full sample, while also exploring differences in baseline characteristics and treatment outcomes across subgroups.

The parent randomized controlled trial (RCT) described elsewhere included 92 participants from 3 outpatient clinics offering substance use treatment for Spanish-speakers in the United States. Participants were included if their primary language was Spanish, met current substance use criteria, and used substances within 28 days of the screening date. Participants were excluded if they were not sufficiently stable for 8 weeks of outpatient follow-up. The standard treatment group received usual substance use treatment whereas the treatment group included access to a culturally adapted CBT program (CBT4CBT-Spanish). Religiosity was measured at baseline using The Religious Background and Behavior (RBB) questionnaire. Similarly, daily substance use was assessed using the calendar-based Timeline Follow Back. Data was analyzed using two-tailed tests.

Results demonstrated that religiosity in the past year was positively associated with one measure of abstinence for those randomized to CBT4CBT-Spanish; however, this did not persist during a six-month follow-up period. Furthermore, in Latinx adults receiving a culturally adapted cognitive behavioral therapy treatment, religiosity may be associated with longer duration of abstinence. Despite these findings, the study was limited by the fact that the parent RCT was not designed to test religiosity or spirituality on outcomes. Nonetheless, the study had excellent follow-up rates and data availability which strengthen its results.

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