Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-170

Religiosity and Spirituality of patients with severe mental disorders

Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_87_20

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Background: Religion and spirituality form an integral part of life, yet have been poorly studied in patients with mental illness. Aim: This study evaluated the religious and spiritual practices, a sense of purpose/connection, religious/spiritual belief and sense of hope/control among clinically stable patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression and compared the same with healthy controls. It also aimed to evaluate the association of residual psychopathology with various dimensions of religiosity and spirituality. Materials and Methods: Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder, in a state of clinical remission were assessed on the Spiritual Attitude Inventory and compared with a healthy control group. Results: A total of 284 participants were recruited, which included patients with major depressive disorder (n = 72), bipolar disorder (n = 75), schizophrenia (n = 63), and healthy controls (n = 74). The groups were matched for age and gender. As compared to healthy controls, participants with any severe mental disorder had significantly lower participation in organized religious activities. In terms of existential well-being, all patient groups had significantly lower scores than the healthy control group. Patients with severe mental disorders significantly more frequently used negative religious coping than the healthy controls and also had lower scores on the sense of purpose. No significant difference was observed between the three patient groups on various dimensions of religiosity and spirituality as assessed in the present study. In patients with schizophrenia, higher use of negative religious coping was associated with greater residual psychopathology. Conclusion: Considering the association of negative religious coping with residual psychopathology, there is a need to incorporate psychological interventions to address religious and spiritual issues for patients with various severe mental disorders.



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