Multidisciplinary Perceptions and Considerations for Spiritual Care and Biblical Framework Counseling in Mental Health




Biblical Framework Counseling, Christian health care, medical ethics, mental health, multidisciplinary, religious/spiritual care, schizophrenia


Background: Religious/Spiritual (R/S) care is often desirable by mental health clients for culturally sensitive, patient-focused treatment; yet providers may experience hesitancy or overlook this need and treatment guidelines are limited. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore existing R/S care, as well as perspectives on what support care would be considered for patients choosing BFC. This is part of a project to collaboratively extend population-based mental health care access in resource–constrained communities of both the US, a High-Income Country (HIC) and Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) in Africa. 


Methods: A qualitative literature synthesis, then an online survey was conducted with 54 multidisciplinary participants recruited via snowballing. Survey participants were asked to review a case as described by a BFC provider and respond  anonymously to an open-ended questionnaire. The data collected was distilled with qualitative coding and thematic analysis. 


Results: Literature synthesis identified multidisciplinary health professional provision of R/S, medical and/or psychological interventions as monotherapy or integrated strategies. There was a paucity of medical education guidelines. Qualitative themes included willingness to coordinate care for BFC clients, to what capacity should care be provided, and perceptions of BFC efficacy. R/S care was often integrated as part of a holistic treatment approach. Scheduled BFC patient follow-ups, ethical hand-offs or referrals were considered important for majority of survey respondents based on comfort-level with biblical counseling and perceived relapse potential. Spiritual growth and maintenance, medication management, and individual psychotherapy were recommended by survey respondents. There were contrasts in BFC and non-R/S provider perspectives on pertinent mental health history and inferences from the case. Significant information for patient support included symptoms and confirmatory diagnosis, medical comorbidities, relevant childhood issues, faith-health beliefs, family history and genetics, medication and therapy adherence, and substance use. Faith-health belief congruence of providers with BFC patients and ethical decision-making should be considered. Graduate Medical Education (GME) and other health professional programs may incorporate these considerations, existing R/S interventions, and multidisciplinary provider scope of practice as options for clinician training. Future research steps should include growing the body of anecdotal case reports, evidence-based case series and implementation science studies across a broader range of mental disorders.


Author Biographies

Valerie Oji, MedCentre, PLLC

PharmD, BCPP, PhD(ABD), Director/Clinical Pharmacologist.

At the time of this research Dr. Oji’s affiliation was: Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State
University, Jonesboro, AR, USA

Bailey Powell, New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Arkansas Campus

BS, DO(c)


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How to Cite

Oji, V., & Powell, B. (2024). Multidisciplinary Perceptions and Considerations for Spiritual Care and Biblical Framework Counseling in Mental Health . Christian Journal for Global Health, 11(1), 64–83.