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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-20

Religiosity and religious coping among outpatients with schizophrenia: Association with severity of illness and psychosocial functioning

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
3 Department of Clinical Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Justus U Onu
Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State 420211
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnam.jnam_2_21

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Background: There are burgeoning data on the beneficial and deleterious effects of religion on health, especially, mental health worldwide. This complex relationship between religious variables and outcome in patients with schizophrenia is yet to be robustly explored among Africans. This study aimed to determine the relationship between religious variables (i.e., religious coping and orientation) and outcome variables (e.g., disease severity and psychosocial functioning). Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study done at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. A total of 422 outpatients who met the stringent criteria for schizophrenia were recruited into the study over a study period of 18 weeks. Standard instruments were used to measure religious coping (Brief Religious Coping-Brief—RCOPE), religious orientation (Religious Orientation Scale-Revised—ROS-R), disease severity (The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale), and psychosocial functioning (Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale). A multivariate linear regression analysis was used to determine the religious variables that predicted disease severity and psychosocial functioning. Results: Religiosity and religious coping variables were not significant predictors of symptom severity among patients with schizophrenia. However, negative religious coping was a significant predictor of poor psychosocial functioning (t = −2.23, P = 0.02, β = −0.28), whereas high score in intrinsic religiosity was a predictor of good psychosocial functioning (t = 3.32, P = 0.001, β = 0.27). Conclusion: Findings from this study support the vast majority of research that suggests that religiosity and religious coping have diverse effects on clinical and functional outcomes.

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