Soul darkness? Dimensions of religious/ spiritual well-being among mood-disordered inpatients compared to healthy controls.Psychopathology 2012; 45(5):310-6P
Religiosity and spirituality have been found to be substantially associated with a variety of mental health and illness parameters. However, relevant empirical evidence is sparse, and more research is needed in order to further understand what role religiosity/spirituality plays in the development, progression and healing process of a psychiatric disease. Thus, the purpose of this study was to find out more information about the religious/spiritual needs of anxious/depressive inpatients.
SAMPLING AND METHODS
A total sample of 200 well-characterized anxious/depressive inpatients was investigated. Results were compared to those from an adjusted group of healthy individuals (n = 200). A newly developed Multidimensional Inventory for Religious/Spiritual Well-Being was applied to both groups, together with established psychiatric measures (e.g. Beck Depression Inventory).
Of the dimensions measured, Hope and Forgiveness turned out to be the strongest negative correlates of anxious/depressive symptoms (p < 0.001). Moreover, a lower degree of Hope (p < 0.001) and Experiences of Sense and Meaning (p < 0.01) was found in the patient group compared to healthy controls. In accordance with the literature, religiosity was confirmed to be a substantial suicidal buffer (p < 0.01).
Our results account for a more comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, emphasizing in particular the role that religiosity/spirituality plays in overall well-being. Furthermore, religious/spiritual well-being might be considered an important resource to explore, in particular for affective mentally disordered patients.