Monday, October 17

Being religious helps with mental illness recovery

This was a fascinating study. I quote:

There is increasing recognition that a person's spiritual or religious experiences contribute to quality of life (QOL). However, research exploring the relation between spirituality and QOL has mainly been in the context of chronic and life-threatening illnesses and studies examining this important correlate of QOL in chronically mentally ill subjects are sparse. This study aimed to explore the relationship between spirituality and QOL and to investigate if spirituality contributes to other domains of QOL (both physical and psycho-social) in subjects with residual schizophrenia. By using a cross-sectional design 103 patients with residual schizophrenia were assessed on positive and negative syndrome scale and their quality of life, spirituality and religiousness were assessed by WHO Quality of Life-Spirituality, Religiousness and Personal Beliefs (WHOQOL-SRPB) scale. The SRPB domain and all its facets other than spiritual connection correlated significantly (ρ < 0.001) with all other domains of QOL and overall QOL. On regression analysis, inner peace domain of spirituality explained 21.6 to 37.6% of variance of all QOL domains except the domain of level of independence. Spirituality domain explained 33.8% of variance of ‘level of independence’ domain of QOL. Taken together, inner peace and spirituality facets explained 23 to 40% variance of social relationships domain, psychological domain and level of independence domain of QOL. This study suggests that spirituality and religiosity have an important influence on overall QOL of patients with schizophrenia. Hence, besides pharmacological and non-pharmacological management for schizophrenia, clinicians should focus on this aspect and encourage their patients to follow their religious practices and spiritual beliefs.

Now here’s the issue, for example in the UK. When doctors ask patients about their faith, they are slapped down. Here is an example. What was the problem? The doctor suggested some other faith than the chap’s. But because of issues like this, doctors are purely clinical or medical or both. But looking after the mental well being of the patient is left alone because it crosses too many boundaries. I think this is a wrong thing but I suppose that’s the price for living in a secular system.

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