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Religiosity, mood symptoms, and quality of life in bipolar disorder

Authors

  • André Stroppa,

    Corresponding author
    • Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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  • Alexander Moreira-Almeida

    1. Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
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Corresponding author:

André Stroppa, M.D.

Research Center in Spirituality and Health

School of Medicine

Federal University of Juiz de Fora

Avenida Barão do Rio Branco

2985/1301 São Mateus

CEP: 36.010.012, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais

Brazil

Fax: +55-32-3216-7122

E-mail: andre.stroppa@ufjf.edu.br

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between religiosity and mood, quality of life, number of hospitalizations, and number of severe suicide attempts among bipolar disorder patients.

Methods

In a cross-sectional study of bipolar disorder outpatients (N = 168), we assessed symptoms of mania [Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS)], depression [Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)], religiosity (Duke Religious Index), religious coping (Brief RCOPE), and quality of life [World Health Organization Quality of Life–Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF)]. Sociodemographic data, number of suicide attempts, and number of hospitalizations were obtained through an interview with the individual and analysis of the patient's medical records. Logistical and linear regressions of the association between the religious indicators and clinical variables were conducted, controlling for sociodemographic variables.

Results

A total of 148 (88.1%) individuals reported some type of religious affiliation. Intrinsic religiosity [odds ratio (OR) = 0.19, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.06–0.57, p = 0.003] and positive religious coping strategies (OR = 0.25, CI: 0.09–0.71, p = 0.01) were associated with fewer depressive symptoms. All four domains of quality of life were directly and significantly correlated with intrinsic religiosity. Positive religious coping was correlated with higher levels of the psychological (β = 0.216, p = 0.002) and environmental (β = 0.178, p = 0.028) quality-of-life domains. Negative religious coping was associated with lower scores on the psychological domain of quality of life (β = −0.182, p = 0.025).

Conclusions

Intrinsic religiosity and positive religious coping are strongly associated with fewer depressive symptoms and improved quality of life. Negative religious coping is associated with worse quality of life. Religiosity is a relevant aspect of patients' lives and should be taken into consideration by physicians when assessing and managing bipolar disorder patients. Further longitudinal studies are needed to determine the causality and therapeutic implications of our findings.

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